Apocalypse Revealed, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by John Whitehead , at sacred-texts.com
And the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions, signifies fantasies concerning faith alone, as if it were in power. By "heads" are signified the imaginary and visionary things with them about faith alone, which are here treated of, and which in one word are called fantasies. By "horses" are signified the reasonings of the interiors of their minds, which are such (n. 449); by "lions" are signified power (n. 241); but it is power from fallacies, because they are sensual, and the sensual reason from fallacies, by which they persuade and captivate (n. 424).  That their arguments in favor of faith alone are imaginary and visionary, anyone may see who elevates his mind a little. What are faith in act and faith in state, as conceived by them, but visionary things? Who is there among them that knows anything concerning faith in act; and what avails faith in state, when no good enters from man into faith in act. What is remission of sins and consequent instantaneous salvation, but a result of visionary thought? That it is "a fiery flying serpent" in the church, see The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Providence (n. 340). What is the conceit of immunity, merit, justice, and holiness from imputation, but visionary things? see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (n. 18).  What is the Divine operation in internals, without man's cooperation in externals as from himself? For to separate the internal from the external so that there can be no conjunction of them, is merely visionary (see below, n. 606). Such a visionary thing is faith separated from charity; for charity in works is the containant and foundation of faith; it is its ground and earth, also its essence and life; in a word, faith from charity is the man; but faith, without charity, is a specter, and a creature of the imagination, like a bubble of water floating in the air. But perhaps some may say, If you remove the understanding from faith, you will not see visionary things; but be it known, that he who can remove the understanding from faith, may obtrude a thousand visionary things upon every religious tenet, as has been done for ages past by the Roman Catholics.452.
And out of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone, signifies that in their thoughts and discourses, viewed interiorly, there is nothing, and from them there proceeds nothing but the love of self and of the world, which is the proprium of the will, the pride of one's own intelligence, which is the proprium of the understanding, and the lusts of evil and falsity, which is the general proprium flowing forth from those two. "Out of their mouths" means out of their thoughts and discourses; by "fire" is signified the love of self and of the world, which love is the proprium of man's will (n. 450, 468, 494); by "smoke" is signified the pride of one's own intelligence, which is the proprium of his understanding, going forth from the love of self and of the world, as smoke does from fire (n. 422); and by "brimstone" is signified the lusts of evil and falsity, which is the general proprium flowing from those two. These things, however, do not appear from their discourses before men in the world, but manifestly before the angels in heaven; therefore it is said, that, when viewed interiorly, they are such. "Fire" signifies infernal love, and "brimstone," the lusts flowing from that love through the pride of one's own intelligence, in the following passages: I will make it rain fire and brimstone upon him (Ezek. 38:22). Jehovah will rain upon the wicked fire and brimstone (Ps. 11:6). The day of the vengeance of Jehovah; the streams shall be turned into pitch, and its dust into brimstone; the smoke of it shall go up forever (Isa. 34:8-10). In the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven: so shall it be in the day when the Son of man shall be revealed (Luke 17:29-30; Gen. 19:24). He that adoreth the beast and his image shall be tormented with fire and brimstone (Rev. 14:9-10). The beast, the false prophet, and the devil were cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 19:20; 20:10; 21:8). The breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, shall kindle the pile (Isa. 30:33). The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it shall not be sown, it shall not spring forth, according to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah (Deut. 29:23). Brimstone shall be scattered upon the habitation of the wicked (Job 18:15).453.
Verse 18. By these three was a third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, that issued out of their mouths, signifies that it is from these that the men of the church perish. "A third part of men being killed," signifies that the men of the church perish by the three things just now mentioned (n. 452); for by "being killed" is signified to be killed spiritually, which is to perish as to the soul; and by "a third part" is signified all who are in those falsities, which have been frequently enumerated above; what is signified by "fire," "smoke," and "brimstone," and what by "issuing out of their mouths," may be seen above (n. 452). It is from these falsities, that in the whole Christian world it is not known that "fire" here spoken of is the love of self and of the world, and that this love is the Devil; also that "the smoke" from this fire is the pride of one's own intelligence, and that this pride is Satan; as also that "brimstone" kindled by this fire, by means of that pride, is the lusts of evil and falsity; and that these lusts are the crew of the Devil and Satan, of which hell consists; and when these things are not known, it cannot be known what sin is, for sin derives all its delight and pleasantness from them.454.
Verse 19. For their power was in their mouth, signifies that they only prevail by their discourse in confirmation of faith. By "power in their mouth" is signified power in discourse confirming doctrine; for neatness and elegance of language, pretended zeal, ingenious confirmation of what is false, especially from the appearances of truth in the Word, authority, closure of the understanding, and the like, effect all things, whilst truth and the Word effect nothing; for truth shines only before those who are in charity and thence in faith, nor does the Word teach any others.455.
For their tails were like unto serpents having heads, and with them they hurt, signifies the reason, because they are sensual and inverted, speaking truths with their lips, but falsifying them by the principle which constitutes the head of the doctrine of their religion, and thus they deceive. The like is here signified as above by the locusts (n. 438-439); but it is there said, that they had "tails like scorpions," whereas here, like "serpents," for they who are described by the locusts, speak and persuade from the Word, the sciences, and from erudition; but these only from arguments which are appearances of truth and fallacies; and they who use such arguments ingeniously, and as it were wisely, do indeed deceive, but not in so great a degree.  By "serpent" in the Word, are signified sensual things, which are the ultimates of man's life, as above (n. 424); the reason is, because all animals signify the affections of man, wherefore also the affections of angels and spirits, in the spiritual world, appear at a distance as animals, and affections merely sensual, as "serpents"; and this because serpents creep on the ground and lick the dust, and sensual things are the lowest of the understanding and will, being in close contact with the world, and nourished by its objects and delights, which only affect the material senses of the body. Noxious serpents, which are of many kinds, signify the sensual things that depend on the evil affections which constitute the interiors of the mind with those who are insane from the falsities of evil; and harmless serpents signify the sensual things that are dependent on the good affections, which constitute the interiors of the mind with those who are wise from the truths of good.  Sensual things dependent an evil affections, are signified by serpents in these passages: They lick the dust like a serpent (Micah 7:17). Dust shall be the serpent's bread (Isa. 65:25). He said to the serpent, Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life (Gen. 3:14). The sensual is thus described, which, because it communicates with hell, where all are sensual, turns heavenly wisdom into infernal insanity in spiritual things. Be not glad, Philistia, for out of the serpent's root shall go forth a basilisk, whose fruit is a flying fiery serpent (Isa. 14:29). They lay asp's eggs; he that eateth of its eggs dieth, and when one presses it out, a viper is hatched (Isa. 59:5). Because the sons of Israel desired to return into Egypt, they were bitten by serpents (Num. 21:4-9). "To return into Egypt," signified to become sensual from being spiritual; on which account it is said: The hirelings of Egypt have turned themselves away, the voice thereof shall go like a serpent (Jer. 46:21-22).  Because Dan was the farthest of the tribes, and thence signified the ultimate of the church, which is the sensual subject to the interiors, it is therefore said thus of him: Dan is a serpent upon the way biting the horse's heels, and the rider shall fall backwards (Gen. 49:17). By "the horse's heels" the ultimates of the understanding, which are sensual, are signified: by "biting" is signified to adhere to them: by "the rider" is signified the lack of knowledge from them, by which truths are perverted; for which reason it is said, "His rider shall fall backwards." Since sensual men are crafty and cunning like foxes, the Lord therefore says: Be ye prudent as serpents (Matt. 10:16). For the sensual man speaks and reasons from appearances and fallacies; and if he is skilled in the gift of arguing, he knows how to confirm every falsity skillfully, and also the heresy concerning faith alone, and still is so dull in the power of seeing truth that it is scarcely possible to be duller.456.
Verse 20. And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues, signifies those in the church of the Reformed, who are not so spiritually dead from visionary reasonings and from self-love, the pride of their own intelligence, and from the lusts thence, as the former, and yet have made faith alone the head of their religion. By "the rest of the men" are meant they who are not as the former, but yet make faith alone the head of their religion; by "those who were not killed," are signified those who are not so spiritually dead; by "these plagues" in which they are, self-love, the pride of their own intelligence, and the lusts of evil and falsity from them are meant; these three being signified by "fire," "smoke," and "brimstone," concerning which above (n. 452, 453). That such is the signification of "plagues," will be seen below.  But something must first be said respecting this class of persons, whom also it has been granted me to see and to converse with. They dwell in the northern quarter towards the west, where some of them have cottages with roofs, and some without roofs. Their beds are of bulrushes, their garments of goat's hair. In the light flowing in from heaven their faces appear livid and also stupid. The reason is, because they know nothing more about religion than that there is a God, that there are three Persons, that Christ suffered for them on the cross, and that it is faith alone by which they are saved; and likewise by worship in temples, and by prayers at stated times. As to the rest of the things relating to religion and its doctrine, they pay no attention; for the worldly and corporeal things, with which their minds are filled and overcharged, close up their ears against them. There are many of the presbyters among them, whom I asked, "What do you think, when you read in the Word of works, of love and charity, of fruits, of the precepts of life, of repentance, in brief of things to be done?" They replied, that they did indeed read them, and thus saw them; but still they did not see them, because they held their minds in faith alone, and therefore thought that all these were faith, and did not think that they were effects of faith. That such ignorance and stupidity prevails with those who have embraced faith alone, and made it the all of their religion, is scarcely credible; nevertheless it has been granted me to know it by much experience.  That by plagues are meant spiritual plagues, by means of which man dies as to his spirit or soul, is evident from these passages: Thy breach is desperate, thy plague grievous; I will restore health unto thee, I will heal thee of thy plagues (Jer. 30:12, 14, 17). Everyone that passeth by Babylon shall hiss at all her plagues (Jer. 50:13). In one day shall the plagues come upon Babylon, death and lamentation (Rev. 18:8). I saw the seven angels that had the seven last plagues, by which the anger of God is to be consummated (Rev. 15:1, 6). Woe to the sinful nation, to the people heavy with iniquity; from the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it, a wound and a scar and a recent stroke, not pressed, not bound up, not softened with oil (Isa. 1:4, 6). In the day that Jehovah bound up the breach of His people, and healed the wound of their plague (Isa. 30:26. Besides other places, as Deut. 28:59; Jer. 49:17; Zech. 14:12, 15; Luke 7:21; Rev. 11:6; 16:21).457.
Yet repented not of the work of their hands, signifies that neither did they shun their own things, which are evils of every kind, as sins. By "the works of a man's hands" are signified man's own things, which are evils and falsities thence, because by "hand" are signified those things in the aggregate which proceed from man; for the powers of the mind, and thence of its body, are determined to the hands and there terminate; wherefore by "hands," in the Word, is signified power: consequently, by "the works of a man's hands," his own things are signified, which are evils and falsities of every kind; his own things in the will are evils, and his own things in the understanding are falsities thence. It is said of those who are here treated of, that they repented not; the reason is, because they who make faith alone the all of religion, say in themselves, "What need is there of repentance, when by faith alone sins are remitted, and we are saved? Of what avail are our own works in this matter? I know that I was born in sins, and that I am a sinner; if I confess this, and pray that my faults may not be imputed to me, is not the work of repentance then performed, and what need is there for anything more?" Thus he has no thought at all about sins, even so that at length he does not know that there are sins; wherefore he is continually borne along within them and into them, by the delight and pleasantness which flow from them, in like manner as a ship is carried by the wind and tide toward the rocks, whilst the pilot and mariners are asleep.  By "the works of men's hands," in the Word, in its natural sense, are meant graven images, molten images, and idols; but in the spiritual sense, by them are signified evils and falsities of every kind, which are man's own things; as in these passages: Provoke me not to anger by the works of your hands; if ye provoke Me to anger by the works of your hands, to your own evil, I will recompense them according to their works, and according to the deeds of their hands (Jer. 25:6-7, 14). The sons of Israel provoked Me to anger by the works of their hands (Jer. 32:30; 44:8). I will speak judgments with them touching all their wickedness, that they have bowed themselves down to the works of their hands (Jer. 1:16). In that day the eyes shall look to the Holy One of Israel, and not to the altars, the work of their hands, and which their fingers have made (Isa. 17:7-8; 31:7; 37:19; Jer. 10:9).  That "the work of a man's hands" is his proprium, and the evil and falsity thence, may be manifestly evident from this, that for that reason it was prohibited to build the altar and the temple of hewn stones, and to lift up a tool of iron upon those stones; for by this "the work of man's hands" was signified. If thou makest an altar of stones unto me, thou shalt not build them hewn; because if thou movest a chisel upon it, thou wilt profane it (Exod. 20:25). Joshua built an altar of stones, upon which he did not move any iron (Josh. 8:30-31). The temple of Jerusalem was built of whole stone, and neither hammer nor axe nor any instruments of iron were heard when it was building (1 Kings 6:7).  All things also which are done by the Lord, are called "the works of his hands"; which are his own and in themselves goods and truths; as in these places: The works of the hands of Jehovah are truth and judgment (Ps. 111:7). O Jehovah, Thy mercy is for ever; forsake not the works of Thy hands (Ps. 138:8). Thus said Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and His Former, ask signs of Me concerning My sons, concerning the work of My hands command ye Me (Isa. 45:11). Thy people shall all be just, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands (Isa. 60:21). O Jehovah, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter; and we all are the work of Thy hands (Isa. 64:8).458.
That they should not adore demons, signifies that thus they are in the evils of their lusts, and make one with their like in hell. By "demons" are signified the lusts of evil springing from the love of the world; the reason is, because in hell they are called demons who are in those lusts; and men also, who are in the same, become demons after death. There is also a conjunction between them and such men; for every man is conjoined with spirits as to his affections, even so that they make a one; from which it is evident, that to "adore" demons, is to sacrifice to those lusts from the love of them. Therefore he who invokes faith alone, as the head of his religion, or as his idol, remains in evil, by reason of his not searching out any evil in himself which he calls a sin, and consequently is not desirous of removing it by repentance; and as every evil is composed of lusts, being nothing but a bundle of lusts, it follows, that he who does not search out any evil in himself, and shun it as a sin against God, which can only be done by repentance, becomes a demon after death.  Nothing but such lusts are signified by "demons" in the following passages: They sacrifice to demons, not to God (Deut. 32:17). The sons of Israel shall no longer sacrifice to demons, after which they have committed whoredom (Lev. 17:7; Ps. 106:37). The Ziim shall meet with the Ijim, and the demon of the woods shall meet with his companion (Isa. 34:14). The Ziim shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of Ochim, and the daughters of the owl shall dwell there, and the demons of the woods shall dance there (Isa. 13:21). By "Ziim," "Ijim," "Ochim," "the daughters of the owl," are signified various lusts; "wood demons" are such lusts as appertain to priapuses and satyrs: Babylon is become the habitation of demons, and the hold of every unclean spirit (Rev. 18:2). The demons, which the Lord cast out, were such lusts, when they lived in the world (concerning which see Matthew 8:16, 28; 9:32, 33; 10:8; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32, 34; Luke 4:33-37, 41; 8:2, 26-40; 9:1, 37-42, 49; 13:32).459.
And idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood, signifies that thus they are in worship from mere falsities. By "idols" in the Word, are signified the falsities of worship, and therefore to adore them signifies worship from falsities; and by "adoring idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood," is signified worship from falsities of all kinds, and, taken collectively, worship from mere falsities. Moreover, the material of which idols were made, their forms, and their garments, among the ancients, represented the falsities of religion, from which was their worship: "idols of gold" signified falsities concerning Divine things; "idols of silver," falsities concerning spiritual things; "idols of brass," falsities concerning charity; "idols of stone," falsities concerning faith; and "idols of wood," falsities concerning good works. All these falsities exist in those who do not do the work of repentance, that is, shun evils as sins against God.  These things are signified in the spiritual sense by idols which were graven images and molten images, in the following passages: Every man has become foolish by knowledge, every founder is affected with shame by his graven image, because his molten image is a lie, neither is there breath in them; they are vanity, a work of errors; in the time of their visitation they shall perish (Jer. 10:14-15; 51:17-18). The graven images are the work of the hands of the workman; they speak not; they are infatuated and grow foolish together; the wood is a teaching of vanities; they all are the work of the wise (Jer. 10:3-5, 8-10). What profiteth the graven image, that the maker and teacher of lies has graven it; that the maker of a lie has trusted in it? there is no breath in the midst of it (Hab. 2:18-19). In that day a man shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made for themselves to bow themselves down to, to the moles and to the bats (Isa. 2:18, 20). They have made for themselves a molten image of their silver, idols according to their own intelligence, the whole the work of the artificers (Hos. 13:2). I will sprinkle clean waters upon you, that ye may be cleansed from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols (Ezek. 36:25). "Clean waters" are truths; "the idols" are the falsities of worship: Ye shall judge unclean the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the clothing of thy molten image of gold; thou shalt scatter it as a menstruous cloth, thou shalt call it dung (Isa. 30:22).  Nor is anything but the falsities of religion and thence of worship signified by: The gods of gold, of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone, which Belshazzar, king of Babylon, praised (worshiped), when he drank wine with his magnates, wives, and concubines out of the vessels of gold and silver of the temple of Jerusalem; for which the king was driven out from man and became like a beast (Dan. 5:1-5 seq.); besides many other places (as Isaiah 10:10, 11; 21:9; 31:7; 40:19, 20; 41:29; 42:17; 48:5; Jeremiah 8:19; 50:38, 39; Ezekiel 6:4, 5; 14:3-6; Micah 1:7; 5:13; Psalms 115:4, 5; 135:15, 16; Leviticus 26:30). By idols are properly signified the falsities of worship from one's own intelligence. How a man fashions them, and afterwards accommodates them, so as to appear as truths, is fully described in Isaiah (44:9-20).460.
Which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk, signifies in which there is nothing of spiritual and truly rational life. The reason why this is said, is, because idolaters believe that their idols see and hear, for they make them gods; but still this is not what is meant by these words; but, that in the falsities of worship there is nothing of spiritual nor truly rational life, for by "seeing" and "hearing" is signified to understand and perceive (n. 7, 25, 87); and by "walking" is signified to live (n. 167); therefore by these three things is signified spiritual and truly rational life; this is signified, because by "idols" are signified the falsities of worship, in which there is nothing of spiritual and rational life. That idols do not see, hear, and walk, is a thing too obvious to be here mentioned, were there not some inward signification involved within it. The like is also said of idols in other parts of the Word, as in these passages: They know not nor understand, and their eyes do not see, nor do their hearts know, they have no knowledge nor intelligence (Isa. 44:9, 18-19). They speak not, neither do they walk (Jer. 10:3-10). They have a mouth but they speak not, eyes have they but they see not (Ps. 115:5; 135:15-16). By these like things are signified, because by "idols" are signified the falsities of worship, and in falsities of worship there is nothing of life which is really life.461.
Verse 21. Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their enchantments, nor of their whoredoms, nor of their thefts, signifies that the heresy of faith alone induces on their hearts stupidity, tergiversation, and hardness, so that they do not think anything concerning the precepts of the Decalogue, nor indeed concerning any sin, that it ought to be shunned because it is with the devil and against God. What murders, whoredoms, and thefts, signify in every sense, may be seen in The Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem from the Precepts of the Decalogue, where it is shown; therefore it is unnecessary to repeat the explanation here; but what is signified by enchantments shall be explained in the following article. Faith alone induces stupidity, tergiversation, and hardness in the hearts of those who are in the churches of the Reformed, because the good of life is not the religion where faith alone prevails; and if the good of life is not the religion, then the second table of the Decalogue, which is the table of repentance, is like an erased tablet on which no writing appears. That the second table of the Decalogue is a table of repentance, is evident, because it is not there said that good works are to be done, but that evil works are not to be done, as, "Thou shalt not kill," "thou shalt not commit whoredom," "thou shalt not steal," "thou shalt not bear false witness," "thou shalt not covet the things which are thy neighbor's;" and if these things do not constitute the religion, the result is as here stated: "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their enchantments, nor of their whoredoms, nor of their thefts." That the good of life is not the religion where faith alone prevails, will be clearly shown in what follows.462.
Since at this day it is not known what is meant by "enchantments," it shall briefly be explained. "Enchantments" are mentioned in the above passage, in place of the eighth precept of the Decalogue, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," for the three other evils, which are "murder," "whoredom," and "thefts," are there named. "To bear false witness" signifies, in the natural sense, to act the part of a false witness, to lie and defame; and in the spiritual sense, to confirm and persuade that falsity is truth, and that evil is good; from which it is evident, that by "to enchant" is signified to persuade to what is false, and thus to destroy truth.  Enchantments were in use among the ancients, and were performed in three ways: First, they kept the hearing and thus the mind of another continually intent upon his words and sayings, without relaxing anything from them; and, at the same time, aspiring and inspiring thought conjoined with affection, by means of the breath, into the sound of the speech, whereby the hearer could not think anything from himself; thus the falsifiers poured in their falsities with violence. Secondly, they infused a persuasion, which was done by detaining the mind from everything contrary, and keeping the attention exclusively to the idea of that which was said by them, hence the spiritual sphere of his mind dispelled the spiritual sphere of the mind of the other, and stifled it. This was the spiritual fascination which the magi of old used, and which was called the binding and tying of the understanding. This kind of enchantment pertained only to the spirit or thought, but the former to the lips or speech also.  Thirdly, the hearer kept his mind so fixed in his own opinion, that he almost shut his ears against hearing anything from the speaker, which was done by holding the breath, and sometimes by a tacit muttering, and thus by a continual denial of his adversary's sentiment. This kind of enchantment was practiced by those who heard others, but the two former by those who spoke to others. These three kinds of enchantment prevailed among the ancients, and prevail still among infernal spirits; but with men in the world there remains only the third kind, and this with those who, from the pride of their own intelligence, have confirmed in themselves the falsities of religion; for these, when they hear things contrary, admit them no further into their thought than to mere contact, and then from the interior recess of their mind they emit as it were fire which consumes them, about which the other knows nothing except by indications from the countenance and the sound of the voice in the reply; provided the enchanter does not, by dissimulation, restrain that fire, or what is the same, the anger of his pride. This kind of enchantment operates at the present day to prevent truths from being accepted, and, with many, to their not being understood.  That in ancient times many magical arts prevailed, and among these enchantments, is evident from Moses: When thou shalt come into the land, thou shalt not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations; there shall not be found in thee one that passeth his son or his daughter through the fire; a diviner by divination, a magician and a soothsayer, a sorcerer, and an enchanter of enchantment, and one that interrogateth a python, and an augur, and one that inquireth of the dead; for all these are an abomination to Jehovah (Deut. 18:9-11). The persuasion of falsity, and thus the destruction of truth, are signified by "enchantments" in these passages: Thy wisdom and thy knowledge hath seduced thee; therefore shall evil come upon thee; persist in thine enchantments, and in the multitude of thy divinations (Isa. 47:10-12). All nations were seduced by the enchantment of Babylon (Rev. 18:23). Without shall stand dogs, enchanters, whoremongers, murderers (Rev. 22:15). Jehoram said to Jehu, Is it peace? he said, What peace to the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, and her many enchantments (2 Kings 9:22). By her "whoredoms" are signified falsifications (n. 134), and by "her enchantments" the destructions of truth by persuasions of falsity.  That "enchantment," on the other hand, signifies the rejection of falsity by truths, which was also done by tacitly thinking and muttering from a zeal for truth against falsity, is manifest from these passages: Jehovah will remove out of Zion the mighty, the man of war, the counselor, the learned in muttering, the skilful in enchantment (Isa. 3:1-3). Their poison is as the poison of the deaf asp; that stoppeth her ear that she may not hear the voice of him who muttereth, of the wise enchanter of enchantments (Ps. 58:4-5). Behold, I send against you basilisk serpents, against which there is no enchantment (Jer. 8:17). In distress they sought thee, they cried out in muttering (Isa. 26:16).463.
To this I will add this Relation. I looked forth to the seacoast in the spiritual world, and saw there a magnificent dock. I drew near, and looked at it; and, behold, there were vessels there great and small, and merchandise in them of every kind; and upon the decks were boys and girls distributing it to those that wished. And they said, "We are waiting to see our beautiful tortoises, which now and then rise up to us out of the sea." And, behold, I saw tortoises great and small, upon whose shells and scales young tortoises were sitting, which were looking at the islands around. The father tortoises had two heads, the one large, covered over with a shell similar to the shell of their body, whence they had a reddish glow; and the other small, such as tortoises have, which they drew back into the front parts of the body, and also to insert in an unobserved manner in the larger head. But I kept my eyes on the great reddish head; and I saw that this had a face like a man, and spoke with the boys and girls upon the decks, and licked their hands. And the boys and girls then stroked them, and gave them eatables and dainties, and also costly things, as pure silk for garments, thyine wood for tablets, purple for decorations, and scarlet for paints.  Seeing these things, I desired to know what they represented; as I knew that all the things that appear in the world of spirits are correspondences, and represent something spiritual coming down from heaven. And they then spoke with me out of heaven, and said, "You yourself know what the dock represents, also what the ships, and the boys and the girls upon the decks; but you do not know what the tortoises represent." And they said, "The tortoises represent those of the clergy there, who altogether separate faith from charity and its good works, affirming in themselves that there is plainly no conjunction between them; but that the Holy Spirit, through faith in God the Father for the sake of the Son's merit, enters into a man, and purifies his interiors even to his own will, out of which they make as it were an oval plane; and that when the operation of the Holy Spirit approaches this plane, it bends itself around it on the left side, and does not at all touch it: and thus that the interior or higher part of a man's nature is for God, and that the exterior or lower is for man; and that thus nothing that the man does, neither good nor evil, appears before God: not the good, because this is meritorious; and not the evil, because this is evil; since, if these appeared before God, the man would perish from both; and since it is so, that man is permitted to will, think, speak, and do whatever he pleases, provided he is careful before the world."  I asked whether they also assert that it is permitted to think of God, that He is not omnipresent and omniscient? They said from heaven, that "this also is permitted them; because God, in him who has once been purified and so justified, does not look at anything of his thought and will; and that he still retains in the interior bosom or higher region of the mind or nature the faith which he had received in its first operation; and that that operation may sometimes return, when the man does not know it. These are the things which the small head represents, which they draw into the fore parts of the body, and conceal, and also insert in the great head, when they speak with the laity: for they do not speak with them from the small head, but from the large one, which appears in front as furnished with a human face. And they speak with them from the Word concerning love, charity, good works, the precepts of the Decalogue, repentance, and they quote from the Word almost all the things that are there on these subjects. But they then insert the small head into the large one, from which they understand inwardly in themselves, that all those things are not to be done for the sake of God, of heaven, and of salvation; but only on account of the public and private good. But because they speak concerning these things from the Word, especially concerning the Gospel, the operation of the Holy Spirit, and salvation, agreeably and elegantly, they therefore appear before their hearers as handsome men, and as wise above all others in the whole world. For which reason also you saw that rich and precious things were given to them by the boys and girls that sat upon the decks of the vessels.  "It is these, therefore, whom you saw represented as tortoises. In your world they are little distinguished from others, only by this, that they believe themselves to be wiser than all, and laugh at others, especially at their companions who they say are not wise as themselves, and whom they despise. They carry a kind of small seal with them on their garments, by which they are known to one another."  He that spoke with me said, "I shall not tell you what they think concerning other matters of faith; as election, free agency, Baptism, the Holy Supper; which are such things as they do not divulge, but we in heaven know. But because they are such in the world, and after death it is not permitted anyone to speak otherwise than he thinks, therefore because they cannot then do otherwise than speak from the insane things of their thoughts, they are reputed as insane, and are cast out of the societies, and are at length let down into the pit of the abyss, and become corporeal spirits, and appear like mummies: for a callousness is induced over the interiors of their minds, because in the world also they had interposed a barrier. There is an infernal society of them on the confines of the infernal society from the Machiavellists, and they sometimes enter from the one into the other, and call themselves companions; but they go away because there is a diversity, on this account, that there was with them something religious concerning faith in act, but none with the Machiavellists."  Afterwards I saw them cast out of the societies, and gathered together to be cast down; there was seen a vessel in the air flying with seven sails, and therein officers and sailors clothed in a purple dress, having magnificent laurels upon their hats, crying, "Lo, we are in heaven; we are the purple-robed doctors, and crowned with laurel above all, because we are the chief of the wise from all the clergy in Europe." I wondered what this was; and it was said to me that they were images of the pride, and the ideal thoughts which are called fantasies, from those who were before seen as tortoises, and now as the insane ones cast out of the societies, and gathered together into one, and they stood together in one place. And I then desired to speak with them; and I approached the place where they were standing, and saluted them, and said, "Are you they who have separated men's internals from their externals, and the operation of the Holy Spirit as in faith from its cooperation with man outside of faith, and so have separated God from man? Have you not thus removed not only charity itself and its works, from faith, like many other doctors from the clergy, but also faith itself as to its manifestation before God, from man? But, I pray, do you wish that I should speak with you on this matter from reason, or from the Sacred Scripture?" They said, "Speak first from reason."  And I spoke, saying, "How can the internal and the external with a man be separated? Who does not see, or cannot see, from common perception, that all of a man's interiors proceed and are continued into his exteriors and even into the outermosts, that they may produce their effects and do their works? Are not the internals for the sake of the externals, that they may terminate in them, and subsist in them, and so exist, scarcely otherwise than as a column does upon its pedestal? You can see that if there were not continuation, and so conjunction, the outermosts would be dissolved, and would disperse like bubbles in the air. Who can deny that the interior operations of God with men are myriads of myriads, of which man knows nothing. And what use is it to know them, provided he knows the outermosts, in which he is together with God in his thought and will.  But this shall be illustrated by an example. Does a man know the interior operations of his speech? as how the lungs draw in the air, and fill the vesicles, the bronchia, and the lobes with it? how it emits this air into the trachea, and there turns it into sound? how that sound is modified in the glottis by the help of the larynx? and how the tongue then articulates it, and the lips complete the articulation, so that it becomes speech? All these interior operations, of which the man knows nothing, are they not for the sake of the outermost, that man may be able to speak? Remove or separate one of those internal things from its continuous connection with the outermosts, could the man speak any more than a stock?  "Take another example. The two hands are the ultimates of man. Are there not interiors, which are continued thither? They are from the head through the neck, then through the breast, the shoulders, the arms, and the forearms; and there are the innumerable muscular textures, the numberless orders of the moving fibers, the innumerable bundles of the nerves and blood vessels, and the many connections of the bones with their membranes and ligaments. Does man know anything concerning these? and yet his hands are operated from all of them. Suppose that those interiors around the elbow were turned to the left, and did not enter the hand; would not the hand from the elbow pine away, and go to decay like something torn off without life? Indeed, if you are willing to believe it, it would be as with the body, if the man were beheaded. It would be altogether similar with the will and thought of man, if the Divine operation should cease before it reaches them, and not flow into them. These things are according to reason.  "Now if you are willing to hear it, these same things are also according to the Sacred Scripture. Does not the Lord say: Abide in me, and I in you; I am the Vine, and ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me ye cannot do anything (John 15:4-5)? Is not the fruit the good works which the Lord does through the man, and which the man does as of himself? Does not the Lord also say that: He stands at the door and knocks; and that to him who opens He will enter in, and will sup with him, and he with Him (Rev. 3:20)? Does not the Lord: Give the pounds and the talents, that man may trade with them, and get gain; and as he gains, give him eternal life (Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 19:13-26)? Also that: He gives reward to everyone according to his labor in His vineyard (Matt. 20:1-17). These are but a few passages. Pages might be filled from the Word concerning this, that man ought to produce fruit as a tree; he should do the commandments, love God and the neighbor, and other like things. But I know that your own intelligence can hold no such principle, as it really is, in common with the Word, which although you quote, still your ideas pervert it. And you cannot do otherwise, because you remove all the things of God away from man as regards communication and thence conjunction. What then remains, except also all the things of worship?"  They were afterwards seen by me in the light of heaven, which discloses and makes manifest what the quality of each one is; and then they were not seen as before in a vessel in the air as it were in heaven, nor in purple garments, nor with heads crowned with laurel; but in a sandy place, and in garments of rags, and girded with fishing nets as it were around the loins; through which their nakedness appeared; and they were then sent down into the society on the confines next the Machiavellists, spoken of above.464.
Revelation 10 1. And I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, encompassed with a cloud; and a rainbow was over his head, and his face was as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. 2. And he had in his hand a little book open. And he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left upon the earth. 3. And he cried with a great voice, as a lion roareth. And when he cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. 5. And the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven. 6. And sware by Him that liveth for ages of ages, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things that are therein, that time shall be no longer. 7. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished; as He hath declared to His servants the prophets. 8. And the voice which I heard from heaven, spake unto me again, saying, Take the little book, which is open in the hand of the angel who is standing upon the 464-1 earth. 9. And I went unto the angel, saying unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey. 10. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it up, my belly was made bitter. 11. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. THE SPIRITUAL SENSE The contents of the whole chapter The exploration and manifestation of those who are in the churches of the Reformed is still treated of; here what they believe concerning the Lord, as being the God of heaven and earth, as He Himself taught (Matthew 28:18); and that His Human is Divine; and that this is not received there; and that it can be received with difficulty, so long as the dogma of justification by faith alone is seated in their hearts. The contents of each verse Verse 1. "And I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven," signifies the Lord in Divine majesty and power (n. 465). "Encompassed with a cloud, and a rainbow was over his head," signifies His Divine natural and Divine spiritual (n. 466). "And his face was as the sun," signifies the Divine love, and at the same time the Divine wisdom (n. 467). "And his feet as pillars of fire," signifies the Lord's Divine natural as to the Divine love, which sustains all things (n. 468). Verse 2. "And he had in his hand a little book open," signifies the Word as to this doctrinal point therein, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth and that His Human is Divine (469). "And he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left upon the earth," signifies that the Lord has the whole church under His auspices and dominion (n. 470). Verse 3. "And cried with a great voice, as a lion roareth," signifies grievous lamentation that the church is taken from Him (n. 471). "And when He cried, seven thunders uttered their voices," signifies that the Lord will disclose throughout the whole heaven what is in the little book (n. 472). Verse 4. "And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not," signifies that these things indeed are made manifest, but that they are not received till after they who are meant by the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, are cast out of the world of spirits, because there would be danger were they to be received before (n. 473). Verse 5. "And the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven (verse 6), and swore by Him that liveth for ages of ages," signifies the attestation and testification of the Lord by Himself (n. 474). "Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things that are therein" signifies, who vivifies all that are in heaven and that are in the church, and each and everything with them (n. 475). "That time shall be no longer," signifies that there cannot be any state of the church, or any church, except one God be acknowledged, and that the Lord is that God (n. 476). Verse 7. "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound" signifies the final exploration and manifestation of the state of the church which must perish, unless a new one be established by the Lord (n. 477). "And the mystery of God shall be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets," signifies that then it will appear, that it is foretold in the Word of both Testaments, but has hitherto been concealed, that after the Last Judgment is executed upon those who have devastated the church, the Lord's kingdom will come (n. 478). Verse 8. "And the voice which I heard from heaven, spake unto me again, saying, Take the little book, which is open in the hand of the angel who is standing upon the sea and upon the earth," signifies a command from heaven, that they should admit that doctrine, but that it should be made manifest by John how it would be received in the church, before those are removed, who are meant by "the dragon," "the beast," and "the false prophet" (n. 479). Verse 9. "And I went unto the angel, saying unto him, Give me the little book," signifies a motion of the mind with many to receive the doctrine (n. 480). "And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up, and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey," signifies that reception of the acknowledgment that the Lord is the Savior and Redeemer, is grateful and pleasing, but that the acknowledgment that He alone is the God of heaven and earth, and that his Human is Divine, is disagreeable and difficult by reason of falsifications (n. 481). Verse 10. "And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it up, my belly was made bitter," signifies that so it came to pass, and was thus manifested (n. 482). Verse 11. "And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings," signifies that because it is so, the quality of those who are in faith alone must be further shown (n. 483). THE EXPLANATION. In this and the following chapter the Lord is treated of, that He is the God of heaven and earth, and that as to His Human also He is God; consequently that He is Jehovah Himself. That this is the subject treated of in these two chapters, may be seen from the particulars in the spiritual sense, and from their conclusion (chapter 11:15-17).465.
Verse 1. And I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, signifies the Lord in Divine majesty and power. That this "angel" is the Lord, is evident from the description of him, as being "encompassed with a cloud, a rainbow over his head, his face as the sun, his feet like columns of fire," and that he set his feet upon the sea and upon the earth; as also that he cried with a great voice as a lion roareth, and spoke as thunder. He was seen as an angel, because He appears as an angel in the heavens and below the heavens, when He manifests Himself; for He fills some angel with His Divine in accommodation to the reception of those to whom He grants to see Him. His presence itself, such as He is in Himself or in His own essence, cannot be supported by any angel, much less by any man; wherefore He appears above the heavens as a sun, at a distance from the angels, as the sun of this world is from men. There He dwells in His Divine from eternity, and at the same time in His Divine Human, which are a one like soul and body. He is here called "a mighty angel" from His Divine power; and it is said, "another angel," by reason of another Divine attribute of His, different from the former, being here described.466.
Encompassed with a cloud; and a rainbow was over His head, signifies His Divine natural and Divine spiritual. By "the cloud" with which He was encompassed, is signified the Divine natural; wherefore the Word in its natural sense, which also is from Him, thus is His and Himself, is signified by "cloud" (n. 24). By "the rainbow" is signified the Divine spiritual, and as this is above the natural, therefore the rainbow appeared over the head. It is to be known, that the Lord is present with men in His Divine natural, but, with the angels of His spiritual kingdom, in His Divine spiritual, and with the angels of His celestial kingdom, in His Divine celestial; still He is not divided, but appears to everyone according to his quality. The Lord's Divine spiritual is also signified by the rainbow in Ezekiel: And above the expanse of the cherubim was the likeness of a throne, and upon it the appearance of a man; and from the fire of His loins there was as it were the appearance of the rainbow which is in the cloud in the day of rain, this was the appearance of the glory of Jehovah (Ezek. 1:26-28). By "the throne" is signified heaven; by "the man upon it" the Lord; by "the fire of the loins," celestial love; and by "the rainbow," Divine truth spiritual, which also is of His Divine wisdom. It is written in Moses: I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth, and when I shall see it in the cloud, I will remember the eternal covenant (Gen. 9:12-17). By "the rainbow" here nothing else is meant but the Divine truth spiritual in the natural with the man who is regenerated; for man, when he is regenerated, from natural becomes spiritual; and in as much as there is then a conjunction of the Lord with him, therefore it is said, that the bow in the cloud should be for "a sign of the covenant." "Covenant" signifies conjunction. That there is no conjunction of the Lord with man by rainbows in the world, is evident.467.
And his face was as the sun, signifies the Divine love, and at the same time the Divine wisdom, as is evident from the explanation above (n. 53); where the same is said of the Son of man.468.
And his feet as pillars of fire, signifies the Lord's Divine natural as to the Divine love, which sustains all things. This also appears from the explanation above (n. 49), where it is said of the Son of man, that "His feet were like fine brass, as if glowing in a furnace." The reason why His feet seemed like "pillars of fire" is, because the Lord's Divine natural, which in itself is the Divine Human which He assumed in the world, sustains His Divine from eternity, as the body does the soul, and in like manner as the natural sense of the Word sustains its spiritual and celestial sense; on which subject see The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (n. 27-49). That "the feet" signify the natural, may be seen (n. 49); and that "a pillar" signifies support (n. 191). "Fire" signifies love, because spiritual fire is nothing else; therefore it is customary in worship to pray, that "heavenly fire may kindle the heart"; that is, celestial love. That there is a correspondence between fire and love, may be known from this: that man grows warm from love, and grows cold from the privation thereof, there being nothing else that produces vital heat, but love in both senses. The origin of correspondences is from two suns, one in the heavens which is pure love, and the other in the world which is pure fire; hence, also, is derived the correspondence between all spiritual and natural things.  Since "fire" signifies the Divine love, therefore: Jehovah was seen by Moses upon Mount Horeb in a bush on fire (Exod. 3:1-3). And He came down on Mount Sinai in fire (Deut. 4:36). And therefore: The seven lamps of the lampstand in the tabernacle were kindled every evening, that they might burn before Jehovah (Lev. 24:2-4). Also that the fire burned perpetually upon the altar, and was not extinguished (Lev. 6:13). And that they took fire from the altar in the censers, and offered incense (Lev. 16:12, 13; Num. 16:46, 47). That Jehovah went before the sons of Israel by night in a pillar of fire (Exod. 13:21, 22). That there was fire by night upon the habitation (Exod. 40:38; Ps. 105:39; Isa. 4:5, 6). That fire from heaven consumed the burnt-offerings upon the altar, as a sign of good pleasure (Lev. 9:24; 1 Kings 18:38). That the burnt-offerings were called offerings by fire to Jehovah, and the offerings by fire for an odor of rest to Jehovah (Exod. 29:18; Lev. 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9-11; 3:5, 16; 4:31, 35; 5:12; 6:18; 21:6; Num. 28:2; Deut. 18:1). That the eyes of the Lord were seen as a flame of fire (Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 19:12; Dan. 10:5, 6). That the seven lamps of fire burned before the throne (Rev. 4:5). Hence it is manifest what is signified by: The lamps with oil and without oil (Matt. 25:1-11). By "the oil" is meant fire, and thus love. Besides many other places. That "fire" in the opposite sense signifies infernal love, is manifest from so many places in the Word, that it is needless to adduce them on account of their abundance: see something on this subject in the work on "Heaven and Hell," published at London (n. 566-575).469.
Verse 2. And he had in his hand a little book open, signifies the Word as to this point of doctrine therein, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine. That by "the book" which the Lamb took from Him that sat on the throne, and of which he loosed the seven seals (Revelation 5:1, 7; 6:1) is meant the Word, may be seen above (n. 256, 259, 295, and following). Therefore by "the little book" in the hand of the angel, who also is the Lord (n. 465), nothing else is here meant but the Word as to some essential therein. That this is the doctrinal point in the Word, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine is evident from the spiritual sense of all the particulars in this and the following chapter, and also from the natural sense of the next chapter (11:15-17).  "The little book" is said "to be open" because that doctrine appears manifestly in the Word, and is evident to everyone who reads it, if he attends. This is the subject now treated of, because it is the very essential of the New Church. The reason is, because on the knowledge and acknowledgment of God depends the salvation of everyone; for, as was observed in the Preface, "The whole heaven, and the whole church on earth, and, in general, all religion, is founded on a just idea of God; because by it there is conjunction, and by conjunction light, wisdom, and eternal happiness."  Since the Lord is the very God of heaven and earth, therefore, no one, who does not acknowledge Him, is admitted into heaven, for heaven is His body; but he stands below, and is bitten by serpents, that is, by infernal spirits, for whose bite there is no cure but that which the sons of Israel experienced by looking up to "the brazen serpent" (Num. 21:1-9); by which is meant the Lord as to the Divine Human, as is plain from this passage in John: As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:14-15).470.
And he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left upon the earth, signifies that the Lord has the whole church, as well those therein who are in its externals, as those who are in its internals, under His auspices and dominion. By "the sea and the earth" is signified the entire church; by "the sea," the external church, that is, they who are in its externals; and by "the earth," the internal church, that is, they who are in its internals (n. 398). By "setting his feet upon them," is signified to hold all in subjection to Himself, consequently, under His Divine auspices and dominion. Since the Lord's church on earth is beneath the heavens, therefore it is called "the footstool of His feet," as in these passages: He hath cast forth out of heaven unto the earth the ornament of Israel, He doth not remember the footstool of His feet (Lam. 2:1). The earth is the footstool of My feet (Isa. 66:1). We will enter into His habitations, we will bow ourselves down at the footstool of His feet (Ps. 132:7). Thou shalt not swear by heaven, because it is the throne of God, neither by the earth, because it is the footstool of His feet (Matt. 5:34-35). I will make the place of My feet honorable (Isa. 60:13). Thou hast made Him to rule over the works of Thy hands, Thou hast put all things under His feet (Ps. 8:6). This is said of the Lord. That "he put his right foot upon the sea and his left upon the earth" is because they who are in the externals of the church have not so confirmed falsities with themselves as those who are in its internals.471.
Verse 3. And cried with a great voice, as a lion roareth, signifies grievous lamentation that the church has been taken away from Him. That by "crying as a lion roareth" is signified grievous lamentation respecting the church, and that it has been taken away from Him is evident from what is explained in the foregoing chapter, where the states of life of those who are of the church were explored and made manifest, which were lamentable; also from its being said in this chapter, that "the angel swore by him that liveth for ages of ages, that there should be time no longer," by which is signified that there would be no church; and, in the following chapter, that "the beast, which came up out of the abyss, killed his two witnesses"; and especially from his not being acknowledged and approached, although He is the God of heaven and earth. Lamentation concerning these things is signified by "His roaring as a lion," for a lion roars when he sees his enemies and is assaulted by them, and when he sees his whelps and prey taken away; so does the Lord, comparatively, when He sees His church taken away from Him by devils.  That this is what is signified by "roaring as a lion" may appear from these passages: As the lion roareth, and the young lion, over its prey, when plenty of shepherds go forth against him, so Jehovah Zebaoth cometh down to fight for Mount Zion (Isa. 31:4). The anger of Jehovah was kindled against His people, His roaring is like a lion's, He roareth like the young lions, and He growleth and seizeth the prey; for, behold, darkness, anxiety, and the light is darkened in the ruins thereof (Isa. 5:25-30). Jehovah shall roar from on high, and shall utter His voice from the habitation of His holiness; roaring He shall roar against His habitations (Jer. 25:30). Jehovah shall roar out of Zion, and shall utter His voice out of Jerusalem (Joel 3:16). I will not destroy Ephraim; they shall go after Jehovah; as a lion shall He roar, because He shall roar (Hos. 11:9-10). The lion roareth, who shall not fear? the Lord Jehovah hath spoken, who shall not prophesy (Amos 3:8)? God roareth with His voice, He thundereth with the voice of His majesty (Job 37:4-5). That "roaring" signifies grievous lamentation is evident from these: My bones have become old through my roaring all the day (Ps. 32:3). I am feeble and broken; I have roared because of the roaring of my heart (Ps. 38:8). My sighing is before my bread, and my roarings are poured out like water (Job 3:24).472.
And when he cried, seven thunders uttered their voices signifies that the Lord throughout the entire heaven disclosed what was in the little book. This signification is evident, because it presently follows, that he wished "to write what the seven thunders uttered," but was enjoined from heaven "to seal it up and not to write it;" and afterwards "to eat up the little book;" and that "in his mouth it was sweet as honey" but that "it made his belly bitter"; by which is signified that such things were in it as could not yet be received: the reason may be seen in the following article. But I will open what was in the little book. In the little book were those things which are contained in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Concerning the Lord, from beginning to end, which are as follows:  That the whole Sacred Scripture is concerning the Lord, and that the Lord is the Word (n. 1-7). That by the Lord fulfilled all things of the law is meant that He fulfilled all things of the Word (n. 8-11). That the Lord came into the world to subdue the hells and glorify His Human, and that the passion of the cross was the last combat, by which He fully conquered the hells, and fully glorified His Human (n. 12-14). That the Lord, by the passion of the cross, did not take away sins, but that He bore them (n. 15-17). That the imputation of the Lord's merit is nothing else than the remission of sins after repentance (n. 18). That the Lord, as to His Divine Human, is called the Son of God, and, as to the Word, He is called the Son of man (n. 19-28). That the Lord made His Human Divine from the Divine in Himself, and thus He became one with the Father (n. 29-36). That the Lord is God Himself, from whom and concerning whom the Word is (n. 37-44). That there is one God, and that the Lord is that God (n. 45). That the Holy Spirit is the Divine proceeding from the Lord, and that it is the Lord Himself (n. 46-54). That the doctrine of the Athanasian faith agrees with the truth, if only by a Trinity of Persons is understood a Trinity of Person, which is in the Lord (n. 55-61).  The reason why it is said that "the seven thunders uttered their voices," is, because what the Lord speaks, as it descends through the heavens into the lower parts, is heard as thunder; and because He speaks through the whole heaven at once, and thus fully, they are called "seven" thunders, for by "seven" are signified all, all things, and the whole (n. 10, 391); therefore also by "thunder" is signified instruction and the perception of truth (n. 236); here also disclosure and manifestation. That a voice from heaven is heard as thunder, when from the Lord, is evident from these passages: Jesus said, Father, glorify Thy name: and there came forth a voice out of heaven, and said, I have glorified it, and I will glorify it: the multitude heard this as thunder (John 12:28-30). God roareth with His voice, He thundereth with the voice of majesty (Job 37:4, 5). Jehovah thundered out of heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice (2 Sam. 22:14). I heard a voice out of heaven, as the voice of great thunder (Rev. 14:2). Thou calledst unto me, and I answered thee in secret thunder (Ps. 81:7).473.
Verse 4. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write, and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not, signifies that these things indeed are made manifest, but that they are not received till after they who are meant by "the dragon," "the beast," and "the false prophet," are cast out of the world of spirits, because there would be danger were they to be received before. "The voices" which the seven thunders uttered, are the things just mentioned above (n. 472), which are three times mentioned, because they are the very essentials of the New Church. By "writing," in the natural sense, is signified to commit to paper, and thus for the information of posterity, but, in the spiritual sense, by "writing" is signified to commit to the heart for reception; hence by "sealing them up and not writing them," is signified that they will not be committed to the heart and received, till after the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, are cast out of the world of spirits, because there would be danger if they were received before. The reason is, because by "the dragon," "the beast," and "the false prophet," are signified they who are in faith separated from charity, and these constantly and tenaciously adhere to their belief, that God the Father is to be approached, and not the Lord immediately, and that the Lord is not the God of heaven and earth as to His Human; therefore if the above-mentioned doctrine (n. 472), which has been manifested and is still being manifested, which is signified by "the little book was opened," were to be received by any others than those who are in charity and its faith, who also are those who are signified by "John" (n. 5, 17), before the dragon is cast out, it would be rejected not only by them, but also through them, by the rest; and if not rejected, still it would be falsified, yea, profaned.  That this is the case, evidently appears from what now follows in Revelation, when seen in its series, as, that they killed the Lord's two witnesses (Rev. 11:7); that the dragon stood by the woman who was about to be delivered, that he might devour her offspring; and after he had fought with Michael he persecuted the woman (Rev. 12:1-17); and that the two beasts which came up, one out of the sea, and the other out of the earth, made one with him (Rev. 13:1-18); as also that he gathered together his followers to battle at the place called Armageddon (Rev. 16:16); and, finally, that they assembled the nations, Gog and Magog, to war (Rev. 20:8, 9). But that the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, were cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 20:10); and this being effected, the New Church, which is to be the Lamb's wife, came down out of heaven (Rev. 21-22). Such is the signification of these words: Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not (Rev. 10:5-6). Also of the following in this chapter: In the days of the voice of the seventh angel the mystery of God will be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets (Rev. 10:7). And by these words in the next chapter: And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's (Rev. 11:15). And likewise by many things to the same effect in the chapters which follow. Something may be seen on this subject in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (n. 61).474.
Verse 5. And the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, (verse 6), and swore by Him that liveth for ages of ages, signifies the attestation and testification of the Lord by Himself. By "the angel standing upon the sea and the earth" is meant the Lord (n. 470); by "lifting his hand up to heaven" is signified this attestation, that "there should be time no longer" (verse 6); by "swearing" is signified this testification, that "in the days of the voice of the seventh angel the mystery of God should be finished (verse 7); by "Him that liveth for ages of ages" is meant the Lord Himself, as above (chapters 1:18; 4:9, 10; 5:14; Daniel 4:34). That the Lord testifies by himself will be seen presently. From what has been said, it is evident, that by these words, "and the angel whom I saw standing upon the sea and the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and swore by Him that liveth for ages of ages" is signified the attestation and testification of the Lord by himself.  That Jehovah swears, that is, testifies, by Himself is evident from these passages: I have sworn by Myself, the word hath gone out of My mouth which shall not be recalled (Isa. 45:23). I have sworn by Myself, that this house shall be a desolation (Jer. 22:5). Jehovah hath sworn by His soul (Jer. 51:14; Amos 6:8). Jehovah hath sworn by His holiness (Amos 4:2). Jehovah hath sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength (Isa. 62:8). Behold, I have sworn by My great name (Jer. 44:26). Jehovah, that is, the Lord, "swearing by Himself" signifies that the Divine truth testifies, for He is the Divine truth itself, and thus testifies from itself and by itself. Besides which, that "Jehovah swears" may also be seen in Isaiah 14:24; 54:9; Psalms 89:3, 35; 95:11; 110:4; 132:11. It is said that "Jehovah hath sworn" because the church instituted among the sons of Israel was a representative church, and the Lord's conjunction with the church was thence represented by a covenant, such as is made between two who swear to their compact; therefore, because an oath was a part of the covenant, it is said that "Jehovah swore"; by which, nevertheless, it is not meant that He swore, but that the Divine truth testifies it.  That an oath was a part of a covenant, appears from these passages: I have sworn unto thee, and entered into a covenant, and thou shouldest be Mine (Ezek. 16:8). To remember the covenant, the oath which he swore (Luke 1:72-73; Ps. 105:9; Jer. 11:5; 32:22; Deut. 1:34; 10:11; 11:9, 21; 26:3, 15; 31:20; 34:4). As a covenant was a representative of the conjunction of the Lord with the church, and, reciprocally, of the church with the Lord; and as the oath was a part of the covenant, and man was to swear from the truth therein, thus also by it, therefore the sons of Israel were permitted to swear by Jehovah, and thus by the Divine truth (Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 19:12; Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20; Isaiah 48:1; 65:16; Jeremiah 4:2; Zechariah 5:4); but after the representatives of the church were abrogated, the oaths of a covenant were also abrogated by the Lord (Matthew 5:33-37; 23:16-22).475.
Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things that are therein, signifies who vivifies all that are in heaven and that are in the church, and each and every thing in them. By "creating" in the natural sense is signified to create; but, in the spiritual sense, by "creating" is signified to reform and regenerate (n. 254, 290), which is also to vivify. By "heaven" is meant heaven where the angels are; by "the earth and the sea" is signified the church; by "the earth," they who are in its internals, and by "the sea," they who are in its externals (n. 398, 470). By "the things that are therein," are signified each and all the things with them.476.
That there should be time no longer, signifies that there cannot be any state of the church, nor any church, unless one God be acknowledged, and that the Lord is He. By "time" is signified state; and, because the church is here treated of, the state of the church is signified. Therefore "there shall be time no longer," signifies that there will not be any state of the church. That it also means that there is not any church, unless one God be acknowledged, and that the Lord is He, follows as a consequence. But what is the case at this day? That there is one God is not denied, but that the Lord is He is denied; and yet there is not one God, in whom is the Trinity at the same time, but the Lord. That the church is from Him, who is the Savior and Redeemer, is not denied; but that He, as the Savior and Redeemer, ought to be approached immediately, is denied. Hence it is evident, that the church is about to expire, unless a new one comes into existence, which acknowledges the Lord alone to be the God of heaven and earth, and, for this reason, immediately approaches Him (see Matthew 28:18). Therefore these words, "there shall be time no longer," that is, there shall be no church, relate to what follows in this chapter (verse 7); and this again, to what is written in chapter 11 (verse 15); where it is said there will be a church which will be from the Lord alone.  By "time" is signified state, because in the spiritual world time is not measured by days, weeks, months, and years, but by states, which are progressions of the life of those who are there, from which they remember things past; on which subject see the work on Heaven and Hell, published at London in the year 1758 (n. 162-169), where time in heaven is treated of. The reason why the state of the church is here meant by "time," is because day and night, morning and evening, summer and winter, constitute time in this world, and when understood in the spiritual sense, they constitute the states of the church; therefore when these states no longer exist, there is no church; and there is then no church, when there is no longer any good and truth, thus when the light of truth is thick darkness, and the heat of good is cold; this is what is meant by "there is time no longer." Something similar is meant by the following passages in the Word: The fourth beast will think to change the times (Dan. 7:25). But it shall be one day which is known to Jehovah, not day nor night (thus there would be no time) (Zech. 14:7). I will cause the sun to set at noon, and I will darken the earth in the day of light (thus there would be no time) (Amos 8:9). Behold, one evil is come, the end is come, the end is come, the morning is come upon thee, O thou that dwellest in the land, the time is come (Ezek. 7:5-7). "The morning" is the beginning of a new church (n. 151), therefore it is said "the time is come."477.
Verse 7. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel when he is about to sound, signifies the final exploration and manifestation of the state of the church, which must perish, unless the new one be established by the Lord. That by "sounding a trumpet" is signified to explore and manifest the state of life of those who are of the church, consequently the state of the church, may be seen above (n. 397); and seven angels sounded, by "the voice of the seventh angel" is signified the final exploration and manifestation, which is that the church is about to perish, unless the New one be established by the Lord; that it is about to perish, is meant by "there being time no longer" (n. 476), and that the New Church is to be established by the Lord, is meant by what now follows.478.
The mystery of God shall be finished; as He hath declared to His servants the prophets, signifies that then it will appear that it is foretold in the Word of both Testaments, but has hitherto been hidden, that after the Last Judgment is executed upon those who have devastated the church, the Lord's kingdom will come. By "being finished" is signified to be fulfilled, to have an end, and then to appear. By "the mystery of God declared to the prophets," is signified that which is foretold by the Lord in the Word, and hitherto hidden. By "declaring" (evangelizing) is signified to announce the Lord's advent and His kingdom, for the Gospel is a glad messenger. That this will come to pass, after the Last Judgment is executed upon those who have devastated the church, is also foretold in the Word, therefore this also is signified. From this it may appear, that all these are meant by these words.  Something shall first be said of what is foretold in the Word of both Testaments, concerning the coming of the Lord, and His kingdom. In the Word of the Old Testament, which is called prophetic, in the spiritual sense, and also where this sense shines forth, in the natural sense, the Lord alone is treated of, that is to say, His advent in the fullness of time; which is, when there is no longer any good of charity and truth of faith in the church, which state of the church is called the consummation, devastation, desolation, and decision. It also treats of His combats with the hells and victories over them, which likewise constitute the Last Judgment executed by Him; and afterwards of the creation of a new heaven, and the establishment of a new church, which are the Lord's kingdom that is to come. These things are also treated of in the Word of the New Testament, which is called apostolic, and particularly in Revelation.  That it is the Lord's kingdom, that "will be declared in the days of the voice of the seventh angel," appears plainly in the next or eleventh chapter from these things: And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world have become our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall reign for ages of ages; and the twenty-four elders fell upon their faces, and adored God, saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, who art and who wast and who art to come, that Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast entered into the kingdom (Rev. 11:15-17).  This mystery is described in Daniel almost in the same manner as here in Revelation, where are these words: I heard the man clothed in linen, that he lifted up his hands to heaven, and swore by Him that liveth forever, that it should be unto the stated time of stated times and a half, when all these things should be finished: but he said, Go, Daniel, because the words are shut up and sealed even to the time of the end (Dan. 12:7, 9). "Even to the time of the end" is even to this time. That then the Son of man will take the kingdom He foretells in these words: I saw in the vision of the night, and behold, there was one like the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven; and to Him was given dominion, and glory, and a kingdom; and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall worship Him. His dominion is the dominion of an age which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not perish (Dan. 7:13-14).  That "to declare good tidings" [evangelize] signifies the Lord's coming and His kingdom at that time is manifest from these passages: O Zion, that declarest good tidings, get thee up upon the mountain: O Jerusalem, that declarest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; say, Behold your God; behold the Lord Jehovih cometh in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him (Isa. 40:9-10). How delightful upon the mountains are the feet of him that declareth good tidings, that maketh us to hear peace, that declareth good tidings of good, that maketh us to hear salvation, that saith to Zion, thy God shall reign (Isa. 52:7, 8; Nahum 1:15). Sing unto Jehovah, bless His name, declare the good tidings of His salvation from day to day; for Jehovah cometh (Ps. 96:2, 13). The spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon me, therefore Jehovah hath anointed me to declare good tidings to the poor, to preach liberty to the captives, to proclaim the year of the good pleasure of Jehovah (Isa. 61:1-2). The angel said to Zechariah, Behold, thy wife shall bring forth a son, who shall go forth before the Lord God in the spirit and power of Elias, and to prepare the people for the Lord. I am Gabriel, and I was sent to declare to thee this good tidings (Luke 1:13, 17, 19). The angel said to the shepherds, Fear not; behold, I declare to you good tidings of great joy; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10-11). The Lord declared the glad tidings of the kingdom of God (Matt. 4:23; 9:35; Mark 1:15; Luke 7:22; 8:1; 9:1-2). John the Baptist also (Luke 3:18). Jesus also said to the disciples, Go into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). This also is "the everlasting gospel" which the angel had that was flying in the midst of heaven, "to declare to them that dwell upon the earth" (Revelation 14:6).  It is said that "the mystery of God shall be finished"; by which is meant that now will be fulfilled that which has not been fulfilled before, which is that the kingdom will be the Lord's. For it was not fulfilled by the Jews, because they did not acknowledge the Lord. Nor was it fulfilled by the Christians, for neither did they acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and earth even as to His Human; for they make this like the human of another man: wherefore they do not go immediately to Him; when yet He is Jehovah, who came into the world.479.
Verse 8. And the voice which I heard from heaven spoke unto me again, saying, Take the little book, which is open in the hand of the angel who is standing upon the sea and upon the earth, signifies a command from heaven, that they should admit that doctrine concerning the Lord, but that it should be made manifest by John, how it would be received in the church, before they who are meant by "the dragon," "the beast," and "the false prophet" are removed. By "the voice which he heard from heaven" now again speaking with him, is meant the voice which said to him to seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and not to write them (verse 4), by which is signified that the doctrine concerning the Lord would not be received till after they who are meant by "the dragon," "the beast," and "the false prophet," should be cast out of the world of spirits, because there would be danger were it to be received before, as may be seen above (n. 473). That this is the case, is now made manifest by John, by his "eating up the little book," as presently follows. That by "the little book" is meant the doctrine concerning the Lord, may be seen (n. 469, 472); and that by "the angel standing upon the sea and upon the earth" is meant the Lord (n. 465, 470).480.
Verse 9. And I went unto the angel, saying unto him, Give me the little book, signifies an inclination of the mind, with many in the church, to receive the doctrine. This is signified, because by John is here manifested how the doctrine concerning the Lord is received by many in the church, as just observed; an inclination of the mind with these to receive this doctrine is meant, because an inclination was apparent in John, in that he went and asked for it. As these things involve such a meaning, therefore John was first told to take the little book; he then went and asked for it; then the angel said that he would give it him, but that the little book would make his belly bitter; and lastly it is said that it was given him, and that it so came to pass; all these things being significative.481.
And he said unto me, Take it and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but in thy mouth it shall be sweet as honey, signifies that reception from acknowledgment that the Lord is the Saviour and Redeemer, is agreeable and pleasant, but that the acknowledgment that He alone is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine, is disagreeable and difficult to receive by reason of falsifications. By "taking the little book," is signified to receive the doctrine concerning the Lord; by "eating it up," is signified to acknowledge it; by "making the belly bitter," is signified that it will be disagreeable and difficult from falsifications, for "bitter" signifies truth falsified (n. 411); by "being in the mouth sweet as honey," is signified that the beginning of its reception is agreeable and pleasant. These things that are now applied to that doctrine, which is meant by "the little book open in the hand of the angel" (n. 469, 472), signify that reception from acknowledgment that the Lord is the Saviour and Redeemer, is agreeable and pleasant; but that the acknowledgment that He alone is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine, is disagreeable and difficult from falsifications. The falsifications, by which that doctrine is perceived as disagreeable and difficult are especially that the Lord is not acknowledged to be one with the Father, although He Himself so taught; they have not acknowledged the Lord's Human to be Divine, which, nevertheless, is the Son of God (Luke 1:35); and thus it may be said, that they have made God three, and the Lord two; besides the falsities continued from them: from these falsities flows faith alone, and faith alone afterwards confirms those falsities. That from these falsities, so great a bitterness and internal repugnance exists, that they cannot, after death, even name the Divine Human from acknowledgment in thought, may be seen above (n. 294).482.
Verse 10. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it up, and it was in my mouth sweet as honey, and when I had eaten it my belly was made bitter, signifies that so it came to pass, and was thus manifested what reception that doctrine would meet with, before they who are meant by "the dragon," "the beast," and "the false prophet," were removed. As this is a consequence of what was said above, it needs no further explanation. It is written that the prophet Ezekiel was also commanded: To eat the volume of the book, and that in his mouth it was sweet as honey (Ezek. 2:8-10; 3:1-3).483.
Verse 11. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings, signifies, that because it is so, the quality of those who are in faith alone must be further taught. That this is signified, appears from what follows, down to chapter 17, which treats of those who are in faith alone; and afterwards of the Roman Catholic religion, and then of the expulsion of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, into hell, and thus concerning the New Church, in which the Lord alone will be worshiped. To prophesy signifies to teach (n. 8, 133), therefore "to prophesy again" signifies to teach further; by "peoples" are signified those who are in the truths or the falsities of doctrine; and by "nations," those who are in the goods or the evils of life, as will be seen presently; by "tongues" are signified those who are exteriorly in them (n. 282); and by "kings" are signified those who are interiorly in them; for by "kings" are signified those who are in truths from good; and, in the opposite sense, those who are in falsities derived from evil, and, abstractly, truths from good or falsities from evil, as may be seen (n. 20, 664, 704, 720, 830, 921); and since they who are in interior falsities are specifically treated of in what follows, it is said, "and many kings," by whom are signified falsities of evil in abundance. "Peoples," "nations," "tongues," and "kings" are mentioned that all who are such in the church may be meant. John being told that "he must prophesy again" signifies that it is necessary to teach further what is the quality of those who are in faith alone, to the end that their falsities may be disclosed and thus abolished; inasmuch as no falsity is abolished before it is disclosed.  That "peoples" signify those who are in truths or falsities of doctrine, and "nations" those who are in goods or in evils of life, may appear from many passages in the Word, where "peoples" and "nations" are mentioned; but in confirmation of this, only those passages shall be here adduced, where "peoples" and "nations" are mentioned together, from which this may be concluded, since in the Word in each and every thing there is a marriage of the Lord and the church, and thence a marriage of good and truth; and "peoples" relate to truth, and "nations" to good. That there is such a marriage in each and every thing of the Word, may be seen in Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (n. 80-90).  The passages in the Word are as follows: Woe to the sinful nation, to the people laden with iniquity (Isa. 1:4). I will send him against a hypocritical nation, I will command him against the people of my wrath (Isa. 10:6). Jehovah smiteth the peoples with a plague not curable, He ruled the nations with anger (Isa. 14:6). In that day shall there be brought as a present to Jehovah a people distracted and plundered, and a nation meted out and trodden down (Isa. 18:7). The strong people shall honor thee, the city of the powerful nations shall fear thee (Isa. 25:3). Jehovah shall swallow up the covering over all peoples, and the veil over all the nations (Isa. 25:7). Approach, ye nations, and hearken, ye peoples (Isa. 34:1). I have called thee for a covenant of the peoples, and for a light of the nations (Isa. 42:6). Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples assemble (Isa. 43:9). Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and My ensign to the people (Isa. 49:22). I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and a lawgiver to the nations (Isa. 55:4). Behold a people coming from the land of the north, and a great nation from the sides of the earth (Jer. 6:22). Many peoples shall come, and numerous nations, to seek Jehovah Zebaoth in Jerusalem (Zech. 8:22). Jehovah rendereth void the counsel of the nations, He overturneth the thoughts of the peoples (Ps. 33:10). Jehovah will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet: Jehovah reigned over the nations; the willing of the peoples are gathered together (Ps. 47:3, 8-9). The peoples shall confess Thee, the nations shall be glad, for Thou shalt judge the peoples righteously, and lead the nations on the earth (Ps. 67:2-4). Remember me, O Jehovah, with the favor that Thou bearest to Thy people, that I may be glad in the joy of Thy nations (Ps. 106:4, 5). All peoples, nations, and tongues shall worship the Son of man (Dan. 7:14. Besides other places, as Ps. 18:43; Isa. 9:2-3; 11:10; Ezek. 36:15; Joel 2:17; Zeph. 2:9; Rev. 5:9; Luke 2:30-32).484.
To this I will add three Relations, of things that occurred in the spiritual world. The First Relation is this: I once heard there the sound as of a mill. It was in the northern quarter. I wondered at first what this was; but I recollected that by "a mill" and by "grinding" in the Word is meant to seek from the Word what is serviceable for doctrine (n. 794). On which account I approached the place where that sound was heard; and when I was near, the sound died away; and I then saw a kind of arched roof above the earth, the entrance to which was through a cave. Seeing which, I descended and entered. And behold there was a chamber, in which I saw an old man sitting among books, holding before him the Word, and seeking therefrom what might be serviceable for his doctrine. Scraps of paper lay around, on which he wrote down what served him. There were scribes in an adjoining room, who gathered up the papers, and copied them upon an entire sheet. I asked first about the books around him. He said that they all treated of justifying faith; "those which were from Sweden and Denmark profoundly, those which were from Germany more profoundly, and those that were from Britain more profoundly still, and most profoundly those from Holland." And he added that they disagree in various things, but that in the article of justification and salvation by faith alone they all agree. Afterwards he said to me that he was now collecting from the Word this first point of justifying faith, that God the Father fell away from grace towards the human race on account of their iniquities; and that it was therefore a Divine necessity for the saving of men, that satisfaction, reconciliation, propitiation, and mediation should be made by some one, who should take upon himself the condemnation of justice; and this could by no means be done but by His only Son; and that after this was done, access to God the Father was open for His sake. And he said, "I see and have seen, that this is according to all reason. How otherwise could God the Father be approached, except through faith in that merit of the Son? I have now found also, that this is likewise according to Scripture."  I heard this, and was astounded that he should say that it was according to reason and according to Scripture, when yet it is contrary to reason and contrary to Scripture; which I also told him plainly. He then rejoined in the wrath of his zeal, "How can you speak so?" Wherefore I opened my mind, saying, "Is it not contrary to reason to think that God the Father fell away from grace towards the human race, and rejected it? "Is not the Divine Grace an attribute of the Divine Essence? Wherefore, to fall away from grace would be to fall away from His Divine Essence; and to fall away from His Divine Essence, would be to be no longer God. Can God be alienated from Himself? Believe me, that grace on the part of God, as it is infinite, is also eternal. The grace of God may be lost on the part of man, if he does not receive it; but never on the part of God. If grace should recede from God, there would be an end of the entire heaven and with it the entire human race, insomuch that man would no longer be man in any respect; for which reason grace on the part of God endures forever, not only towards angels and men, but also towards the devil himself. Since this is according to reason, why do you say that the only access to God the Father is through faith in the Son's merit, when yet there is perpetual access through grace?  "But why do you say, access to God the Father for the sake of the Son? and why not to God the Father through the Son? Is not the Son the Mediator and Saviour? Why do you not go to the Mediator and Saviour Himself? Is He not God and Man? Who on the earth goes immediately to an emperor, king, or prince? Must there not be a deputy or introducer? Do you not know that the Lord came into the world, that He might introduce us to the Father; and that access is not given, except through Him? Search now in the Scriptures, and you will see that this is according to them; and that your way to the Father is contrary to Scripture, as it is contrary to reason. I tell you, too, that it is presumption to climb up to God the Father, and not through Him who is in the bosom of the Father, and alone is with Him. Have you not read John 14:6?" Hearing these things, the old man was so angry, that he leaped from his seat, and cried out to his scribes to cast me out. And when I immediately went out of myself, he threw out of doors after me the book which his hand by chance took hold of, and that book was the Word.  The Second Relation. After I went out, I again heard a harsh sound, but like that of two millstones in collision with each other. I went in the direction of the sound, and it died away. And I saw a narrow gate leading obliquely downwards into a kind of roofed building divided into little cells, in each of which two were sitting, who were also collecting from the Word confirmations in favor of faith; one collected, and the other wrote; and this alternately. I went up to one cell, and stood in the door, and asked, "What are you collecting and writing?" They said, "Concerning the act of justification, or, concerning faith in act; which is faith itself justifying, vivifying, and saving, and is the chief doctrine in Christendom." And I then said to him, "Tell me some sign of the act, when that faith is brought into the heart and into the soul of a man." He answered, "The sign of the act is in the moment when the man, moved with distress that he is condemned, thinks of Christ, that He took away the condemnation of the law, and takes hold of this His merit with confidence; and with this in his thought, goes to God the Father, and prays."  Then I said, "Thus the act takes place, and this is the moment." And I asked, "How shall I comprehend what is said of this act, that not anything of the man contributes to it, any more than it would if he were a stock or a stone; and that the man, as to that act, cannot begin, will, understand, think, operate, cooperate, apply, and accommodate himself in any respect. Tell me how this agrees with your saying, that the act takes place at the time when the man thinks of the rightful power of the law, of his condemnation as taken away by Christ, of the confidence by which he takes hold of that merit of His; and when in thought concerning this he goes to God the Father, and prays; and all those things are done by the man as of himself." But he said, "They are not done actively by the man, but passively."  And I replied, "How can one think, have confidence, and pray, passively? Take away the active or the reactive from the man at that time, do you not take away the receptiveness also, and thus the whole, and with it the act itself? What then becomes of your act, unless it be a mere ideal, which is called a thing of the reason? I know that you do not believe, with some, that such an act is given only with the predestined, who know nothing whatever of the infusion of faith with themselves. These may play at dice, to find out whether it is so. For which reason, my friend, believe that in the things of faith man operates and cooperates as of himself; and that without that cooperation, the act of faith, which you have called the chief of doctrine and of religion, is nothing but the statue of Lot's wife, tinkling as mere salt when scratched by the scribe's pen, or fingernail (Luke 17:32). I have said this, because, as to that act, you make yourselves like statues." When I said this, he rose, and seized the candlestick with the full force of his hand to cast it in my face; but the candle being then suddenly extinguished, in the thick darkness he threw it against the forehead of his companion; and I went away laughing.  The Third Relation. In the northern quarter of the spiritual world I heard as it were the roar of waters; therefore I approached thither; and when I was near, the roar ceased, and I heard a sound like that from a congregation. And then a house was seen full of holes, surrounded by a rough wall, from which that sound proceeded. I approached, and there was a doorkeeper there, whom I asked who were there. He said that they were the wisest of the wise, who decide among themselves concerning supernatural things. He spoke thus from his simple belief. And I asked whether it was permitted to enter. He said that it was, "provided you say nothing. I may admit you, because I have leave to admit Gentiles, who stand with me at the door." I therefore entered; and behold, it was a circus, and in the midst of it a pulpit; and an assembly of the wise, and thus of the learned, were discussing the arcana of faith. And the matter or proposition then submitted for discussion was, whether the good which a man does in the state of justification by faith, or in the progression of it after the act, is the good of religion or not. They said unanimously, that by the good of religion was meant the good which contributes to salvation.  The discussion was sharp; but those prevailed who said that the goods which a man does in the state or in the progression of faith, are only moral, civil, and political goods, which contribute nothing to salvation; but that faith only can do this. And they confirmed it thus. "How can any work of man be conjoined with free grace? Is not salvation of free grace? How can any good of man be conjoined with Christ's merit? Is not salvation by that alone? And how can man's operation be conjoined with the operation of the Holy Spirit? Does not this do all, without the man's help? Are not these three things alone saving in the act of faith? And these three things also remain as alone saving in the state or progression of faith. For which reason accessory good from the man can by no means be called the good of religion, which, as was said, contributes to salvation. But if one does this for the sake of salvation, it is rather to be called the evil of religion."  Two Gentiles were standing in the entry near the doorkeeper; and they heard these things, and said to each other, "These people have not any religion. Who does not see that to do good to the neighbor for the sake of God, and thus with God, and from God, is what is called religion?" And the other said, "Their faith hath infatuated them." And they then asked the doorkeeper, "Who are these?" The doorkeeper said, "They are wise Christians." And they answered, "Nonsense, you are deceiving us; they are play-actors; they speak like them." And I went away. And when I looked, after a time, to the place where that house was, behold it was a marsh.  These things which I saw and heard, I saw and heard in the wakefulness of my body and at the same time of my spirit; for the Lord has so united my spirit to my body, that I may be in both at the same time. It was of the Divine auspices of the Lord, that I came to those houses, and that they then deliberated concerning these things, and that it took place as it is described.485.
Revelation 11 1. And there was given me a reed like a staff; and the angel stood near, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God and the altar, and them that adore therein. 2. And the court which is without the temple cast out, and measure it not; for it is given to the Gentiles; and the holy city shall they trample forty-two months. 3. And I will give to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. 4. These are the two olive trees, and the two lamp stands, which are standing before the God of the earth. 5. And if anyone will hurt them, fire shall go forth out of their mouth, and shall devour their enemies; and if anyone will hurt them, thus must he be killed. 6. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain no rain in the days of their prophecy: and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood; and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will. 7. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that cometh up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them. 8. And their bodies shall be upon the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9. And they of the peoples, and tribes, and tongues, and nations, shall see their bodies three days and a half, and shall not permit their bodies to be put into tombs. 10. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them and shall be glad, and shall send gifts one to another; because those two prophets tormented them that dwell upon the earth. 11. And after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them that saw them. 12. And they heard a great voice out of heaven, saying unto them, Come up hither. And they went up into heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were killed the names of men seven thousand; and the rest were terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14. The second woe is past; behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall reign for ages of ages. 16. And the four-and-twenty elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces, and adored God; 17. Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who is, and who was, and who is to come, because Thou hast taken Thy great power, and hast entered into the kingdom. 18. And the nations were angry; and Thy anger is come, and the time of judging the dead, and of giving reward to Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear Thy name, the small and the great; and to destroy them that destroy the earth. 19. And the temple of God was opened in heaven; and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail. THE SPIRITUAL SENSE The contents of the whole chapter It still treats of the state of the church among the Reformed, as to the quality of those who are interiorly in faith alone, contrary to the two essentials of the New Church, which are that the Lord alone is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine; and that men ought to live according to the precepts of the Decalogue. That these two essentials were declared to them (verses 3-6), but that they were totally rejected (verses 7-10). That they were raised up again by the Lord (verses 11, 12). That they who rejected them, perished (verse 13). That the state of the New Church was manifested from the New Heaven (verses. 15-19). The contents of each verse Verse 1. "And there was given me a reed like a staff," signifies that the faculty and power of knowing and seeing the state of the church in heaven and in the world was given (n. 485). "And the angel stood by, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God and the altar, and them that adore in it," signifies the Lord's presence and His command, that he should see and know the state of the church in the New Heaven (n. 486). Verse 2. "And the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not," signifies that the state of the church on earth, such as it is at present, is to be removed, and not known (n. 487). "For it is given to the Gentiles," signifies, because the state of that church is destroyed and desolated by evils of life (n. 488). "And the holy city shall they trample forty-two months," signifies that it would disperse every truth of the Word, even so that nothing remained (n. 489). Verse 3. "And I will give My two witnesses," signifies those who confess and acknowledge in heart that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine, and who are conjoined to Him by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue (n. 490). "And they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and sixty] days," signifies that these two articles, the acknowledgment of the Lord, and a life according to the commandments of the Decalogue, which are the two essentials of the New Church, are to be taught until the end and the beginning (n. 491). "Clothed in sackcloth," signifies mourning in the meantime on account of the nonreception of truth (n. 492). Verse 4. "These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands, which are standing before the God of the earth," signifies love and intelligence, or charity and faith, from the Lord with them (n. 493). Verse 5. "And if anyone will hurt them, fire shall go forth out of their mouth, and shall devour their enemies," signifies that they who wish to destroy these two essentials of the New Church, will perish from infernal love (n. 494). "And if anyone will hurt them, he must thus be killed," signifies that he who condemns them shall in like manner be condemned (n. 495). Verse 6. "These have power to shut heaven, that it rain no rain in the days of their prophecy," signifies that they who turn themselves away from these two essentials cannot receive any truth from heaven (n. 496). "And they have power over the waters to turn them into blood," signifies that they who turn themselves away from them falsify the truths of the Word (n. 497). "And to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will," signifies that they who would destroy them, will cast themselves into all kinds of evils and falsities, as often as and as far as they do so (n. 498). Verse 7. "And when they shall have finished their testimony," signifies that after the Lord taught those two essentials of the New Church (n. 499). "The beast that ascendeth out of the abyss shall make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them," signifies that they who are in the internals of the doctrine of faith alone will reject these two (n. 500). Verse 8. "And their bodies shall lie on the street of the great city," signifies that they are totally rejected (n. 501). "Which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt," signifies two infernal loves, which are the love of dominion from the love of self, and the love of rule from the pride of one's own intelligence, which exist in the church where one God is not acknowledged, and the Lord not worshiped, and where they do not live according to the precepts of the Decalogue (n. 502, 503). "Where also our Lord was crucified," signifies non-acknowledgment of the Lord's Divine Human, and, consequently, a state of rejection (n. 504). Verse 9. "And they of the peoples, and tribes, and tongues, and nations, shall see their bodies three days and a half," signifies when all they, who, until the end of the present church and the beginning of the New Church, have been and will be in falsities of doctrine and evils of life from faith alone, have heard and shall hear of these two essentials (n. 505). "And shall not permit their bodies to be put into tombs," signifies that they have condemned and will condemn them (n. 506). Verse 10. "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them and be glad," signifies the delight of the affection of the heart and soul in the church among those who were in faith alone (n. 507). "And shall send gifts one to another," signifies consociation through love and friendship (n. 508). "Because these two prophets tormented them that dwell upon the earth," signifies that these two essentials of the New Church, by reason of their contrariety in the two essentials in the church of the Reformed, are held in contempt, dislike, and aversion (n. 509). Verse 11. "And after three days and a half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet," signifies that these two essentials, during the commencement and progress of the New Church, with those who receive them, will be vivified by the Lord (n. 510). "And great fear fell upon them that saw them," signifies commotion of mind and consternation at Divine truths (n. 511). Verse 12. "And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying to them, Come up hither," signifies that these two essentials of the New Church were taken up by the Lord into heaven, from whence they came, and where they are, and the protection of them (n. 512). "And they went up into heaven in a cloud," signifies the taking them up into heaven, and conjunction there with the Lord by the Divine truth of the Word in its literal sense (n. 513). "And their enemies saw them," signifies that they who are in faith separated from charity heard them, but remained in their own falsities (n. 514). Verse 13. "And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell," signifies a remarkable change of state which then took place with them, and that they were torn away from heaven, and cast down into hell (n. 515). "And in the earthquake were killed the names of men seven thousand," signifies that all those who confessed faith alone, and therefore made no account of the works of charity, perished (n. 516). "And the rest were terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven," signifies that they who saw their destruction acknowledged the Lord, and were separated (n. 517). Verse 14. "The second woe is past; behold the third woe cometh quickly," signifies lamentation over the perverted state of the church, and then the last lamentation, to be treated of presently (n. 518). Verse 15. "And the seventh angel sounded," signifies the exploration and manifestation of the state of the church after the consummation, at the coming of the Lord and of His kingdom (n. 519). "And there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall reign for ages of ages," signifies celebrations by the angels, because heaven and the church are become the Lord's, as they were from the beginning, and because now they belong to His Divine Human, consequently that now, the Lord as to both will reign over heaven and the church to eternity (n. 520). Verse 16. "And the four-and-twenty elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell upon their faces, and adored God," signifies the acknowledgment by all the angels of heaven, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and the highest adoration (n. 521). Verse 17. "Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who is, and who was, and who is to come," signifies confession and glorification by the angels of heaven, that it is the Lord who is, who has life and power from Himself, and who rules all things, because He alone is eternal and infinite (n. 522). "That Thou hast taken Thy great power, and hast entered into the kingdom," signifies the New Heaven and the New Church, where they acknowledge Him to be the only God (n. 523). Verse 18. "And the nations were angry," signifies those who are in faith alone, and thence in evils of life, that they were enraged, and infested those who are against their faith (n. 524). "And Thy anger is come, and the time of judging the dead," signifies their destruction, and the execution of the Last Judgment upon those who have not any spiritual life (n. 525). "And of giving reward to Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints," signifies the felicity of eternal life to those who are in the truths of doctrine from the Word, and in a life according to them (n. 526). "And to them that fear Thy name, small and great," signifies who love the things which relate to the Lord in a lesser and in a greater degree (n. 527). "And to destroy them that destroy the earth," signifies the casting of those into hell who have destroyed the church (n. 528). Verse 19. "And the temple of God was opened in heaven; and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant," signifies the New Heaven, in which the Lord in His Divine Human is worshiped; and where they live according to the precepts of His Decalogue, which are the two essentials of the New Church, whereby conjunction is effected (n. 529). "And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and great hail," signifies the ratiocinations, commotions, and falsifications of good and truth, that ensued in the lower parts. THE EXPLANATION Verse 1. And there was given me a reed like a staff, signifies that the faculty and power of knowing and seeing the state of the church in heaven and in the world was given to him by the Lord. By "a reed" is signified feeble power, such as man has from himself; and by "staff," is signified great power, such as man has from the Lord; therefore by "a reed was given like a staff," is signified power from the Lord. That it is the faculty and power of knowing and seeing the state of the church in heaven and in the world, is plain from what follows in this chapter to the end.  That by "a reed" or cane, is signified feeble power, such as man has from himself, is evident from these passages: Lo, thou trustest in the staff of a broken reed, on Egypt; on which when a man leans it will go into his hand, and pierce it (Isa. 36:6). And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know, that I am Jehovah, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel; when they held thee by the hand thou didst break, and perforate all their shoulder (Ezek. 29:6-7). By "Egypt" is signified the natural man who trusts in his own strength, therefore he is called "the staff of a bruised reed." By "reed" is signified feeble power, in Isaiah: A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench (Isa. 42:3).  But by a "staff" is signified strong power, which is from the Lord; here of knowing the state of the church, because "the temple and altar were measured" with a staff; and by "measuring" is signified to know, and by "the temple and altar" is signified the church; as will be seen presently. "A staff" signifies power, because wood, of which staffs were made among the ancient people, signifies good; and because it is instead of the right hand, and supports it, and by "the right hand" is signified power; hence it is, that a scepter is a short staff and by "a scepter" is signified the power of a king; and a "scepter" and "staff" are the same word in the Hebrew language.  That a staff signifies power, is evident from these passages: Say ye, How is the staff of strength broken, the staff of beauty; descend from glory, and sit in thirst (Jer. 48:17, 18). Jehovah will send the staff of thy strength out of Zion (Ps. 110:2). Thou didst strike through with staffs the head of the unbelieving (Hab. 3:14). Israel the staff of Jehovah's inheritance (Jer. 10:16; 51:19). Thy rod and Thy staff shall comfort me (Ps. 23:4). Jehovah hath broken the staff of the wicked (Isa. 9:4; 14:5; Ps. 125:3). My people inquire of wood; and his staff answers them (Hos. 4:12). Jehovah that removeth from Jerusalem the whole staff of bread and the whole staff of water (Isa. 3:1; Ezek. 4:16; 5:16; 14:13; Ps. 105:16; Lev. 26:26). By "the staff of bread and water" the power of good and truth is signified, and by "Jerusalem" the church: The staff of Levi, upon which Aaron's name was, which blossomed with almonds in the tent (Num. 17:2-10), signifies nothing else in the spiritual sense but the power of truth and good, because by "Levi" and "Aaron" the truth and good of the church were signified.  That power is signified by "a staff" is manifest from the power of Moses' staff: That by the stretching out of the staff the waters were turned into blood (Exod. 7:20). That by it frogs came up upon the land of Egypt (Exod. 8:1, etc.). That by it there became lice (Exod. 8:16, etc.). That by it there were thunders and hail (Exod. 9:23, etc.). That by it the locusts went forth (Exod. 10:12, etc.). That by it the Red Sea was divided and turned back (Exod. 14:16, 21, 26). That by it the waters flowed forth from the rock of Horeb (Exod. 17:5, etc.; Num. 20:7-13). That by it Joshua with Moses prevailed over the Amalekites (Exod. 17:9-12). That fire went forth out of the rock by the staff of the angel (Judg. 6:21). From these passages it is manifest that by "a staff" power is signified; and also elsewhere (as Isaiah 10:5, 24, 26; 11:4; 14:5; 30:31-32; Ezekiel 19:10-14; Lamentations 3:1; Micah 7:14; Zechariah 10:11; Numbers 21:18).486.
And the angel stood by, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that adore in it, signifies the Lord's presence and His command, that he should see and know the state of the church in the New Heaven. By "angel" is meant the Lord (here as in n. 5, 415, and other places), because an angel never does anything from himself, but only from the Lord; therefore he says, "I will give My two witnesses" (verse 3), and these were the Lord's witnesses. By "standing by" is signified the Lord's presence; and by "saying" is signified His command; by "rise and measure" are signified to see and know; that "to measure" signifies to know and scrutinize the quality of a state, will be seen below. By "the temple, the altar, and them that adore in it," is signified the state of the church in the New Heaven; by "the temple," the church as to the truth of doctrine (n. 191); by "the altar," the church as to the good of love (n. 392); and by "them that adore" is signified the church as to worship from these two. By "them that adore" is here signified adoration, which is worship, because the spiritual sense is abstracted from the persons (n. 78-79, 96); that this is the case in the present passage, is evident from this, that he was told "to measure" them that adore; for these three things make the church, the truth of doctrine, the good of love, and worship from them.  That it is the church in the New Heaven which is meant, is plain from the last verse of this chapter, where it is said, that "the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in the temple the ark of the covenant" (verse 19). The reason why "the measuring the temple" is spoken of at the beginning of this chapter is in order that the state of the church in heaven, before it was brought into conjunction with the church in the world, might be seen and known. The church in the world is meant by "the court without the temple, which was not to be measured, because it was given to the Gentiles" (verse 2); and then it is described by "the great city, which is called Sodom and Egypt" (verses 7, 8); but afterwards "that great city fell" (verse 13); it follows that the church "was become the Lord's" (verse 15, and subsequent verses). It is to be known, that there is a church in the heavens as well as on earth; and that they make one, like the internal and external with man; wherefore the church in the heavens is first provided by the Lord, and from it, or by it, the church on earth; thence, it is said, that the New Jerusalem came down from God out of the New Heaven (chapter 21:1, 2). By "the New Heaven" is meant the New Heaven from Christians, which is frequently treated of in the following pages.  "To measure" signifies to know and scrutinize the quality; because by "a measure" is signified the quality of a thing, or state; this is signified by all the measures of the New Jerusalem (chapter 21); and also by these words, which occur there: The angel having a golden reed, measured the city and the gates thereof; and he measured the wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, that is, of an angel (Rev. 21:15, 17). And as by "the New Jerusalem" is signified the New Church, it is plain by "measuring" it and the things which are of it, is signified to know the quality. The same is signified by "measuring" in Ezekiel, where it is said that: The angel measured the house of God, the temple, the altar, the court, the chambers (Ezek. 40:3-17; 41:1-5, 13-14, 22; 42-43). He measured the waters (Ezek. 47:3-5). And therefore it is said: Show the form to the house of Israel, and let them be ashamed of their iniquities: and they shall measure the form and its exit and its entrance and all the forms of it, that they may guard all the form (Ezek. 43:10, 11). The same is signified by "measuring" in these places: I lifted up my eyes, and behold, a man, in whose hand was a measuring line; and I said, Whither goest thou? and he said, To measure Jerusalem (Zech. 2:1, 2). He stood and measured the earth (Hab. 3:6). The Lord Jehovah measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out the heavens with the span, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance (Isa. 40:12). Where wast thou when I founded the earth? who set the measures of it? and who stretched out the line upon it (Job 38:4-5)?487.
Verse 2. But the court which is without the temple cast out, and measure it not, signifies that the state of the church on earth, such as it is at present, is to be removed, and not to be known. By "the court without the temple" is signified the church on earth, this being out of heaven, that is, out of "the temple" (n. 486). By "casting it out" is signified to remove it, in this instance, from heaven, because such is its state; and by "not measuring" is signified not to scrutinize and know its quality (n. 486). The reason follows; "because it is given unto the Gentiles, and the holy city shall they trample forty-two months." That by "the court out of the temple" is here signified the church on earth such as it still is, appears from what follows in this chapter, where it is described by "the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt," in which the Lord's two witnesses lay killed, and which afterwards fell in a great earthquake, wherein were killed the names of men seven thousand; besides other circumstances.  By "a court" in the Word in other places, is signified the external of the church; for there were two courts, through which it was necessary to pass, in order to go into the temple itself at Jerusalem; and because by "the temple" was signified the church as to its internal, therefore by "the courts" was signified the church as to its external; wherefore the strangers, who were from the Gentiles, were admitted into the courts, but not into the temple itself. And as the external of the church is signified by "a court," therefore also the church on earth is signified thereby, and also heaven in ultimates, because the church on earth is the entrance to heaven, and likewise heaven in ultimates.  That is what is signified by "the court" in these passages: Happy is he whom Thou choosest, he shall dwell in Thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, with the holiness of Thy temple (Ps. 65:4). Praise ye the name of Jehovah, ye who stand in His house, in the courts of the house of our God (Ps. 135:1, 2). How lovely are Thy habitations, O Jehovah; yea, my soul is consumed for the courts of Jehovah (Ps. 84:1, 2). Enter into His gates with confession, into His courts with praise (Ps. 100:4). The just shall flourish like the palm tree; they that be planted in the house of Jehovah shall spring up in the courts of our God (Ps. 92:12, 13). A day in Thy courts is better than a thousand; I have chosen to stand at the door in the house of my God (Ps. 84:10). (Besides other places, as Ps. 96:8; 116:19; Isa. 1:12; 62:9; Zech. 3:7; Ezek. 10:3-5). Concerning the courts of the temple of Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:3, 36). Concerning the courts of the new temple (Ezek. 40:17-44; 42:1-14; 43:4-7). And the court without the tabernacle (Exod. 27:9-18).488.
For it is given unto the Gentiles, signifies because the state of that church is destroyed and desolated by evils of life, as is evident from the signification of "Gentiles," as being those who are in evils of life, and, abstractly, evils of life (n. 147, 483).489.
And the holy city shall they trample forty-two months, signifies that it would disperse every truth of the Word, even so that nothing would remain. By "the holy city" is meant the holy Jerusalem; and by "the holy Jerusalem" is meant the New Church which is in truths of doctrine, for "holy" is predicated of the Divine truth (n. 173); and "a city" signifies doctrine (n. 194); therefore by "trampling" that metropolis or city is signified to disperse the truths of its doctrine; by "forty-two months" is signified until there is an end, when there is nothing left; by truths of doctrine are meant truths from the Word, because the doctrine of the church, and all that relates to it, is thence derived. That they who are, at this day, in the internals of the church, have so dispersed the truths of the Word, and thence the doctrines of the church, and everything of it, is described in this chapter by "the beast coming up out of the abyss," in that "he killed the two witnesses" (verse 7), and may also be seen from the Relations from the spiritual world, annexed to each chapter.  By "forty-two months" is signified even to the end, and till no truth and good of the church is left, because the same thing is signified by forty-two and by six weeks, for six times seven is forty-two, and by "six weeks" is signified what is complete even to the end; for "six" has this signification, and "a week" signifies state, and "the seventh week" a holy state, which is a new state of the church, when the Lord begins His reign. This number has a similar signification in the following passage: And there was given unto the beast which came up out of the sea a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty-two months (Rev. 13:5). (See n. 583.) The reason why "six" signifies what is complete to the end, is, because "three" has that signification (n. 505), and "six" is double that number, and a number doubled has the same signification as the simple number; besides, the same is signified by this number as by three and a half, because "forty-two months" make three years and a half. "Months" are mentioned because by "a month" is signified a full state (as in Isaiah 66:23; Revelation 22:1, 2; Genesis 29:14; Numbers 11:18-20; Deuteronomy 21:11, 13).490.
Verse 3. And I will give unto My two witnesses, signifies those who confess and acknowledge from the heart that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine, and who are conjoined to Him by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue. The reason why these are here meant by "the two witnesses," is, because these two are the two essentials of the New Church. That the first essential, that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and that His Human is Divine, is "a testimony," and consequently, that they are "witnesses" who confess and acknowledge it in the heart, may be seen (n. 6, 846), and likewise from the following passages: I am the fellow servant of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). The angels of Michael overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of His testimony: and the dragon went away to make war with the rest of her seed, who kept the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 12:11, 17). The souls of them that were smitten with the axe for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God (Rev. 20:4). These are they who acknowledged the Lord. This is called "the testimony of Jesus," because the Lord testifies it from His Word, thus from Himself; on which account He is called: The Faithful and True Witness (Rev. 1:5; 3:14). And He says: I testify of Myself, and My testimony is true; because I know whence I come, and whither I go (John 8:14). Also: When the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall testify of Me (John 15:26). That the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, which is also the Holy Spirit, is the proceeding Divine, and that this is the Lord Him-self, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (n. Now because the Lord Himself is the Witness, therefore those also are meant by "witnesses" who testify this from the Lord, as John did: Jesus said, Ye sent unto John, and he was a witness to the truth; yet I receive not testimony from man (John 5:33-34). John came for a testimony, that he might testify concerning the light: he was not the Light, but that he might testify of the Light. The Word, which was with God, and which was God, was the true Light (John 1:1-14, 34).  That the second essential of the New Church, which is conjunction with the Lord by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue, is "a Testimony," is manifest from the fact that the Decalogue is called "the Testimony;" as in these passages: Thou shalt put into the ark the Testimony which I will give thee (Exod. 25:16). Moses put the Testimony into the Ark (Exod. 40:20). The mercy-seat which is over the Testimony (Lev. 16:13). Leave the staffs of the tribes before the Testimony (Num. 17:4. Besides other places, as Exod. 25:22; 31:7, 18; 32:15; Ps. 78:5; 132:12).  Something shall here be said concerning conjunction with the Lord by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue. There are two tables upon which those precepts are written, one for the Lord, the other for man. The first table, teaches that many gods are not to be worshiped, but one; the second table, that evils are not to be done; therefore, when one God is worshiped, and man does not do evils, conjunction takes place; for so far as a man desists from evils, that is, does the work of repentance, so far he is accepted by God, and does good from Him. But who now is the one God? A trine or triune God is not one God when this trine and triune is in three Persons; but He, in whom the trine or triune is in one Person, is one God, and that God is the Lord. Entangle the ideas as far as you can, yet you will never be able to extricate the idea that God is one, unless He is also one Person. That this is so, the whole Word teaches, both in the Old Prophetic, and in the New Apostolic, as may be clearly seen from The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord.491.
And they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, signifies that these two, the acknowledgment of the Lord, and a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue, which are the two essentials of the New Church, are to be taught until the end and the beginning. That these two, the acknowledgment of the Lord, and a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue, are the two essentials of the New Church, and are meant by "the two witnesses," may be seen above (n. 490); and that "to prophesy" signifies to teach (n. 8, 133). By "one thousand two hundred and sixty days," is signified until the end and the beginning, that is, until the end of the former church, thus to the beginning of the New. The reason why this is signified by this number, is, because it has the same signification as three and a half, and by three and a half is signified an end and a beginning (n. 505); for the number one thousand two hundred and sixty, when reduced into years, makes three years and a half. The like is signified by the same number in the next chapter: And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days (Rev. 12:6).492.
Clothed in sackcloth, signifies mourning in the meantime on account of the non-reception of truth. By "clothed in sackcloth" is signified mourning on account of the devastation of truth in the church; for "garments" signify truths (n. 166, 212, 328, 378, 379); therefore "to be clothed in sackcloth," which is not a garment, signifies mourning because there is no truth, and where there is no truth there is no church. The sons of Israel represented mourning by various things, which, from correspondences, were significative, as by putting ashes on the head, by rolling themselves in the dust, by sitting a long time silent upon the earth, by shaving themselves, by lamentation and howling, by rending the garments, and also by "putting on sackcloth," besides other particulars; and each of these signified some evil of the church among them, for which they were punished; and when they were punished, they represented repentance by such things, and on account of the representation of repentance and then at the same time of humiliation they were heard.  That mourning on account of the devastation of truth in the church, was represented by "putting on sackcloth," may be seen from the following passages: The lion is come up from the thicket, he has gone forth from His place to reduce the land to wasteness; for this gird you with sackcloth, lament, howl (Jer. 4:7, 8). O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and roll thyself in ashes, for the waster shall suddenly come upon us (Jer. 6:26). Woe unto thee, Chorazin and Bethsaida, for if the mighty works which have been done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes (Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13). The king of Nineveh, after he heard the words of Jonah, put off his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes, and proclaimed a fast, and that man and beast should be covered with sackcloth (Jonah 3:5, 6, 8); besides other places; as in Isa. 3:24; 15:2, 3; 22:12; 37:1, 2; 50:3; Jer. 48:37, 38; 49:3; Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 7:17, 18; 27:31; Dan. 11:3; Joel 1:8, 13; Amos 8:10; Job 16:15, 16; Ps. 30:11; 35:13; 69:10, 11; 2 Sam. 3:31; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 6:30; 19:1, 2).493.
Verse 4. These are the two olive trees, and the two lampstands which are standing before the God of the earth, signifies love and intelligence, or charity and faith, both from the Lord with them. By "an olive tree" is signified love and charity, of which presently; and by "lamp stands" is signified enlightenment in truths (n. 43), and thence intelligence and faith, because intelligence is from enlightenment in truths, and faith is from this. By "standing before God" is signified to hear and do what He commands n. 366), here therefore that these two are with them from the Lord, who is the God of the earth, that is, with those who are in the two essentials of the new church, spoken of above; from which it is plain, that by the two witnesses being "two olive trees and two lampstands" is signified that they were love and intelligence, or charity and faith, for these two make the church; love and charity its life, and intelligence and faith its doctrine.  An olive signifies love and charity, because the olive tree signifies the celestial church, and thence "the olive," which is its fruit signifies celestial love, which love is love to the Lord; hence it is that this love is also signified by the oil, by which all the holy things of the church were anointed. The oil, which was called the oil of holiness, was: From olives mixed with aromatics (Exod. 30:23-24). And also: The lamps of the lampstand in the tabernacle were made to burn every evening from olive oil (Exod. 27:20-21; Lev. 24:2). "An olive tree" and "olives" have a like signification in Zechariah: There were two olive trees near the lampstand, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on its left, and two olive berries: these are the two sons of the olive tree standing before the Lord of the whole earth (Zech. 4:3, 11-12, 14). In David: I am like a green olive tree in the house of God (Ps. 52:8). And in Jeremiah: Jehovah called thy name a green olive tree fair with beautiful fruit (Jer. 11:16-17; besides other places).  Since "Jerusalem" signified the church, therefore also many things that were in and about it signified such things as pertain to the church. Near it was also the Mount of Olives, which signified the Divine love, wherefore: Jesus in the day was teaching in the temple, and at night He went out, and passed the night in the Mount of Olives (Luke 21:37; 22:39; John 8:1). And Jesus spoke with His disciples on that mount concerning the consummation of the age, and His coming at that time (Matt. 24:3, and following verses; Mark 13:3, and following verses). And also He went from that mountain to Jerusalem, and suffered (Matt. 21:1; 26:30; Mark 11:1; 14:26; Luke 19:29, 37). And this according to the prediction of Zechariah: His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east (Zech. 14:4). Because "the olive tree" signified the celestial of the church, therefore: The cherubs in the midst of the temple of Jerusalem were made of the wood of the olive tree; in like manner the doors of the oracle, and the posts (1 Kings 6:23-33).494.
Verse 5. And if anyone will hurt them, fire shall go forth out of their mouth, and shall devour their enemies, signifies that they who would destroy these two essentials of the new church will perish from infernal love. "To will to hurt the two witnesses" signifies to will to destroy these two essentials of the New Church, which are the acknowledgment of the Lord that He is the God of heaven and earth even as to the Human, and a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue; that these are "the witnesses" may be seen above (n. 490). "Fire shall go forth out their mouth" signifies infernal love; "and shall devour their enemies" signifies that they who hurt them will perish from that love; but it is not here to be understood that fire will proceed "out of the mouth of the witnesses," but from those who would destroy these two essentials of the New Church, which are meant by "the witnesses" (n. 490). "Fire" is infernal love; for he who does not live according to the precepts of the Decalogue, and who does not approach to God the Savior and Redeemer, cannot be otherwise than in infernal love, and perish.  This is similar to what is said elsewhere in the Word, that from Jehovah there is "fire which consumes the wicked"; and that Jehovah acts "from the fire of his wrath," "anger," and "fury"; besides other similar expressions, by which it is not meant that this comes from Jehovah, but from the infernal love of the wicked. Such things are said in the Word, because they are appearances; and the Word, in its literal sense, is written by correspondences and appearances. Since it is said that "fire should go forth out of their mouth" and that thereby is meant that it is from those who are in infernal love, some passages shall be adduced in which it is said that "fire is from Jehovah": The breath of Jehovah, like a stream of brimstone, shall consume it (Isa. 30:33). Smoke goeth up out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth, coals burned from it (Ps. 18:8). I will pour out upon them the wrath of Mine anger, for in the fire of My zeal shall the whole earth be consumed (Zeph. 3:8). Behold, Jehovah shall come in fire, for retribution in the wrath of His anger, and His rebuke in flames of fire (Isa. 66:15). Thou shalt be visited by Jehovah in a flame of devouring fire (Isa. 29:6; 30:30; besides many elsewhere).495.
And if anyone will hurt them, thus must he be killed, signifies that he who condemns them shall in like manner be condemned. By "hurt them" here signifies to condemn, because it follows, "thus must he be killed," and by "being killed," in the Word, is signified to be killed spiritually, which is to be condemned; for the Lord says: With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged (Matt. 7:1-2).496.
Verse 6. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain no rain in the days of their prophecy, signifies that they who turn themselves away from these two essentials of the New Church, cannot receive any truth from heaven. By "heaven" is here meant the angelic heaven; consequently, by "rain," the truth of the church thence is signified; wherefore, by "shutting heaven that it rain no rain" is signified that they are not able to receive any truth of the church from heaven; the truth of the church from heaven is the truth of doctrine from the Word. It is said that the witnesses had this power, but it is meant here as above (n. 494), that they have not the power to shut heaven, but that they shut heaven to themselves who turn themselves away from these two essentials of the New Church, because they remain in their own falsities. That "rain" signifies the Divine truth from heaven, appears from these passages: My doctrine shall flow down as the rain, My word shall drop as the dew (Deut. 32:2). If ye serve other gods, Jehovah will shut heaven, that there be no rain (Deut. 11:11, 14, 16-17). I will lay My vineyard a desolation, and I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it (Isa. 5:6). The showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; but still the forehead of a harlot woman remained to thee (Jer. 3:3). As the rain cometh down from heaven, so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth (Isa. 55:10-11). Ye sons of Zion rejoice and be glad in Jehovah, for He hath given you the former rain in justice (Joel 2:23). Thou, O God, didst make to drop down a rain of good pleasure (Ps. 68:9). He shall come down like rain upon the herb of the meadow, in His days shall the just flourish (Ps. 72:6, 7). Jehovah shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain irrigateth the earth (Hos. 6:3). My word shall drop upon them, and they shall wait for Me as the rain, and he shall open his mouth to the latter rain (Job 29:22-23). Son of man, say, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, on which there is no rain in the day of anger, there is a conspiracy of the prophets in the midst of it (Ezek. 22:24-25); besides other places (as in Isaiah 30:23; Jeremiah 5:24; 10:12-13, 14:3-4; 51:16; Ezekiel 34:26-27; Amos 4:7-8; Zechariah 10:1; Psalms 65:9-10; 135:7; 2 Samuel 23:3-4). "An inundating rain" is for the devastation of truth (Ezekiel 13:11, 13-14; 38:22); and for temptation (Matthew 7:24-27).497.
And have power over the waters to turn them into blood, signifies that they who turn themselves away from these two essentials falsify the truths of the Word. By "waters" are signified truths (n. 50); and by "blood," the falsification of the truth of the Word (n. 379); therefore, by "turning the waters into blood" is signified to falsify the truths of the Word. This is to be understood in the same manner as before, namely, that they who turn themselves away from the two essentials of the New Church can see nothing but the falsities in which they are, which, if they confirm these by the Word, they falsify its truths.498.
And to smite the earth with every plague as often as they will, signifies that they who would destroy these two essentials of the New Church will cast themselves into all kinds of evils and falsities, as often and so far as they do so. By "the earth" is signified the church (n. 285); and by "a plague" is signified evil and falsity (n. 456); hence by "smiting the earth with every plague," is signified to ruin the church by all kinds of evils and falsities. But this passage is to be understood in the same manner as the former, viz., that they who would smite these two essentials of the New Church with a plague, that is, destroy them, which is done by evil through falsities, will cast themselves into all kinds of evils and falsities; and as the natural sense is thus changed while it becomes spiritual, therefore also this expression, "as often as they will," is changed in like manner into this, as often and so far as they do this. The reason is, because in proportion as anyone destroys these two essentials, he so far destroys the truths of the Word; and so far as he destroys the truths of the Word, so far he casts himself into evils and falsities; for these two essentials are the truths of the Word, as may appear manifestly from The two Doctrines of the New Jerusalem; one concerning The Lord, and the other concerning The Doctrine of Life from the Precepts of the Decalogue. This passage, that "the witnesses had the power of smiting the earth with every plague as often as they will," is similar to many others in the Word, which attribute to Jehovah, that is, to the Lord, that "He smites men with plagues," and that this is His will, when yet it must be understood that He neither smites them, nor is it His will to do so, as in Zechariah: This shall be the plague with which Jehovah shall smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem (Zech. 14:12, and following verses). And in Jeremiah: I have smitten thee with the plague of the enemy, with the chastisement of a tyrant, for the multitude of thine iniquity (Jer. 30:14); likewise in many other places. See also above (n. 494).499.
Verse 7. And when they shall have finished their testimony, signifies that after the Lord has taught that He is the God of heaven and earth, and that there is conjunction with Him by a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue. "When they shall have finished," signifies after the Lord has taught; the two witnesses, indeed, taught, yet not from themselves, but from the Lord. That "testimony" signifies these two, may be seen above (n. 490).500.
The beast that cometh up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and shall overcome them, and kill them, signifies that they who are in the internals of the doctrine of faith alone will oppose them, and assault these two essentials of the New Church, and will reject them, and, as far as lies in their power, will cause others to reject them. By "the beast that cometh up out of the abyss," are meant they who came up out of the abyss, and appeared like locusts (chap. 9:1-12). That these are they who are in the internals of the doctrine of faith alone, may be seen in the explanation there given; by "making war" is signified to oppose and assault these two essentials of the church, as will be seen presently; by "overcoming and killing" them is signified to reject and extirpate them in themselves, and, as far as lies in their power, to cause others to do the same.  The reason why they who are principled in the internals of the doctrine of faith alone will impugn and reject these two essentials, is, because they have confirmed themselves in two things diametrically opposite to them, First, that it is not the Lord, but God the Father, who is to be approached; and Secondly, that a life according to the precepts of the Decalogue is not a spiritual life, but only a moral and civil life, and this they confirm, lest anyone believe that he can be saved by works, but only by their faith. All they who have had these dogmas impressed deeply on their minds in schools and academies, do not recede from them afterwards. There are three reasons for this which hitherto have not been known: First, because they have entered, as to their spirit, into association with their like in the spiritual world, where there are many satans, who are delighted with nothing but falsities, from which they cannot at all be separated but by rejecting those falsities; nor can this be done but by immediately approaching God the Savior, and beginning a Christian life according to the precepts of the Decalogue.  The second reason is because they believe that remission of sins, and thus salvation, is given in a moment in the act of faith, and afterwards in the state or in the progression by the same act continued, preserved, and retained, from the Holy Spirit, separate from the exercises of charity; and they who have once imbibed these doctrines afterwards make no account of sins before God, and so live in their uncleanness. And because they know how to confirm such things subtly before the unlearned by falsifications of the Word, and before the learned by sophistry, it is here said that "the beast which came up from the abyss overcame and killed the two witnesses." But this takes place only with those who love to follow their own inclinations, being borne along by the delights of their lusts. When these think about salvation, they cherish those lusts in their hearts and embrace their faith with both hands, thinking that they may be saved by uttering certain words with a tone of confidence, and that they need not attend to anything of their life for the sake of God, but only for the sake of the world.  The Third reason is that they who, in youth, had imbibed the internals of that faith which are called the mysteries of justification, on being afterwards promoted to an honored ministry, do not think in themselves concerning God and heaven, but concerning themselves and the world, retaining only the mysteries of their faith for the sake of reputation, that they may be honored as wise, and by reason of their wisdom, be thought worthy of being rewarded with wealth. The reason why this is an effect of that faith is because there is nothing of religion in it. That this is so may be seen in the third relation above (n. 484).  That by "wars" in the Word, are signified spiritual wars, which are fightings against truth, and are effected by reasonings from falsities, is evident from these passages: Spirits of demons go forth to gather them to war in the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14). The dragon was angry against the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17). It was given to the beast of the dragon to make war with the saints (Rev. 13:7). Consecrate war against the daughter of Zion, and let us go up at noon (Jer. 6:4). Ye have not gone up into the breaches to stand in war in the day of Jehovah (Ezek. 13:5). In Salem is the habitation of God and a dwelling in Zion, where He broke the fiery darts of the bow, and the battle (Ps. 76:2, 3). Jehovah shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up zeal like a man of war (Isa. 42:13; Ps. 24:8). In that day Jehovah shall be for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, who repels war from the gate (Isa. 28:5, 6). Deliver me from the evil man, and preserve me from the man of violence; all the day they gather together for war; they have sharpened their tongue like serpents (Ps. 140:1-3). Many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and shall mislead many, and ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, see that ye be not troubled (Matt. 24:5, 6; Mark 13:6, 7; Luke 21:8, 9). The wars of the kings of the north, and of the south, and others, in Daniel (chapters 10, 11, 12) signify no other than spiritual wars; besides "the wars" mentioned in other places (as in Isaiah 2:3-5; 13:4; 21:14, 15; 31:4; Jeremiah 49:25, 26; Hosea 2:18; Zechariah 10:5; 14:3; Psalms 27:3; 46:8, 9).  Since by "wars" in the Word, are signified spiritual wars, therefore the ministry of the Levites was called "military service," as appears from these things: It was commanded that the Levites should be numbered, to perform military service, to do work in the tent of the congregation (Num. 4:23, 35, 39, 43, 47). This is the office of the Levites: to perform military service in the ministry of the tent of the congregation; but from a son of fifty years he shall withdraw from the military service of the ministry, nor shall he minister any more (Num. 8:24-25). See also above (n. 447), where it is confirmed from the Word, that "armies" signify the goods and truths of the church, and, in the opposite sense, its evils and falsities.
464-1 The original Latin omits "sea and upon," but it is inserted in the explanation below.